TSB has announced plans to close 164 branches and cut over 900 jobs as the British lender grapples with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The lender said the cuts – which represent a 10 per cent reduction in the bank’s workforce and the loss of a third of its branches – were part of its three-year plan to reduce costs and remain competitive.
“Closing any of our branches is never an easy decision, but our customers are banking differently – with a marked shift to digital banking,” said TSB chief executive Debbie Crosbie.
The Unite union said the cuts marked a “dark day for the finance sector” and would leave TSB staff “devastated”.
“Unite has argued for some time that the financial services industry has a social responsibility not to walk away from its local customers who continue to need access to banking in bank branches,” said Unite national officer Dominic Hook.
Of the 164 TSB branches set to close, eight are in London. The branches closing in the capital are: Cockfosters, Acton, London Wall, Sutton, Putney, Eltham, Barnet, and Burnt Oak.
TSB told its cashiers last month that their jobs would be phased out at the start of 2021 following a steep decline in customers banking in branch during the Covid-19 crisis.
The lender’s Spanish parent Sabadell said in July that it was looking at accelerating cost-cutting at the bank, after TSB posted a €64m (£58m) loss for the first half of 2020.
The UK’s banking industry is scrambling to cut costs in the face of an expected spike in impairments from bad debts resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month Lloyds announced plans to cut 865 jobs, resuming a round of restructuring and cost-cutting measures that had been paused as the pandemic hit.