TSB bank said on Wednesday it will close 164 branches and cut 900 jobs as it “continues to implement its three-year strategy announced in November 2019.”
TSB’s Spanish parent Banco Sabadell said in July that it was looking at accelerating cost-cutting at TSB after its subsidiary reported a statutory loss before tax of £65.5 million for the first half of 2020.
TSB said it currently has 475 branches — and it had already announced a further 21 closures before the end of 2020. By the end of 2021, TSB will have 290 branches.
TSB said: “It is anticipated the vast majority will be colleagues who come forward for voluntary redundancy.
“The changes have been driven by a significant shift in customer behaviour, including a reduction in the number of customers using branches and a significant acceleration in digital adoption.
“As part of TSB’s strategy, the Bank had previously set out its intention to reduce its branch network in order to remain competitive compared to the wider industry.
“These changes today accelerate the pace of the overall branch transformation.”
TSB CEO Debbie Crosbie said: “Closing any of our branches is never an easy decision, but our customers are banking differently – with a marked shift to digital banking.
“We are reshaping our business to transform the customer experience and set us up for the future.
“This means having the right balance between branches on the high street and our digital platforms, enabling us to offer the very best experience for our personal and business customers across the UK.
“We remain committed to our branch network and will retain one of the largest in the UK.”
Robin Bulloch, Customer Banking Director at TSB, said: “Alongside these changes, we will continue to invest in our remaining branch network to offer high quality banking services, fully integrated with improved digital capability.
“We are working to ensure the transition towards digital – which is being seen right across the economy – is handled sensitively and pragmatically for our colleagues and customers. We’re taking steps to support vulnerable customers and those in rural locations.”
TSB said branches earmarked for closure have been selected to ensure 94% of TSB customers can “travel” in 20 minutes or less to a branch, and the new network will have an average of 17,000 customers per branch, which remains below the UK average.
It said its remaining network will be the 7th largest in the UK.
“Changes are being made across the branch network, and in mortgages and customer service operations teams,” said TSB.
“Where possible, role reductions will come through voluntary redundancy and TSB is implementing a comprehensive training programme to support those leaving the business find future roles.
“TSB has consulted with its recognised unions Accord and Unite.”