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TSB to close 164 bank branches putting 900 jobs at risk

TSB is closing 164 branches, with the loss of more than 900 jobs.

The closure of around a third of its national network comes amid a drop in the number of customers using branches and a significant switch to online banking.

The bank will offer affected staff voluntary redundancy.

Branches to be shuttered see little footfall, TSB bosses said. Some of them have fewer than 100 regular customers.

Chief executive Debbie Crosbie explained: “These branches are not in the right spots, nor have the right facilities.”

Ms Crosbie insists the bank remains committed to face-to-face banking.

She told The Sun: “We are not walking away from our branch presence.”

With 290 remaining branches, TSB will still have the seventh largest UK network and be bigger than Coop Bank and Virgin Money combined.

At the same time the bank is creating 120 digital and customer services roles.

Ms Crosbie added: “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.”

Many of the branches earmarked for closure are in rural communities but TSB says it has taken care to ensure vulnerable customers still have access to cash.

It says 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.

Robin Bulloch, customer banking director at TSB, added: “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 last closed branches in November 2019 when it shuttered 82 sites putting 370 jobs at risk – here's the full list.

Campaigners have previously raised concerns about the widespread closure of both bank branches and ATMs.

Consumer group Which? found that two-thirds of people would find life difficult without convenient access to a branch.

It also showed that 11million people lack the confidence to carry out basic banking tasks online. And TSB isn't alone in closing branches.

Earlier this year, Halifax and Bank of Scotland closed 56 branches, while just this month the banks' parent company Lloyds Banking Group resumed restructuring plans that will see 865 jobs axed.

Virgin Money, Clydesdale and Yorkshire bank also closed 56 branches earlier this year, while HSBC announced 27 branch closures in February.

As of March 2020, more than 8,700 free ATMs had been axed since January 2018, while more machines than ever were charging for withdrawals.

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