The Co-operative Bank has selected the branches after thorough analysis of individual branch performance, and will complete the closure by December 2020


The Co-operative Bank branch in Ealing, West London. (Credit: The Co-operative/Wikipedia.)

The Co-operative Bank, a UK-based retail and commercial bank, has unveiled its plans to lay off approximately 350 jobs, along with closing 18 of its branches.

The 18 branches planned to be closed include Ashton, Bradford, Cambridge, Chatham, Chester, Chichester, City of London, Dartford, Halesowen, Harrogate, Luton, Oxford, Rotherham, Solihull, Truro, Wakefield, Walsall, and York.

The bank said that the reduction in the workforce is expected to affect middle management positions and head office roles.

Also, the bank is talks with the affected employees and its trades union on the proposal, and may redeploy them into alternative posts, if possible.

Co-operative Bank chief executive Andrew Bester said: “Our people have shown great dedication and commitment to our customers over the past few months, so we are very sorry to announce this news today.

“Unfortunately, we’re not immune to the impact of recent events, with the historically low base rate affecting the income of all banks and a period of prolonged economic uncertainty ahead, which means it’s important we reduce costs and have the right-sized operating model in place for the future.”

Co-operative Bank to complete planned branch closures by 1 December

A decision to close 18 branches has been made by the bank after thorough analysis of individual branch performance over a 12-month period before the start of lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The planned branch closure process is expected to be completed by 1 December 2020.

The bank said that it will continue providing its service to customers, and is writing to affected customers, urging them to provide information about the alternative options, such as post office counter services, telephone, online and mobile banking.

Established in 1992, The Co-operative Bank offers a full range of banking products and services to retail and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) customers.

Bester added: “At the same time, we are responding to the continuing shift of more and more customers choosing to bank online, with lower levels of transactions in branches, a trend which has been increasing for some time, across the banking sector and more broadly.”

“The Bank is in a resilient position given the significant progress we’ve made in recent years, and our focus is on maintaining this as we continue to support our customers through the crisis. We will do all we can to support colleagues through the process with fairness and respect.”