The move is driven by a change in customer behaviour, including fall in volume of customers using branches and growth in digital adoption
UK-based a retail and commercial bank TSB has unveiled its plans to close 164 branches, as part of its future growth strategy, announced in November 2019.
The bank said that it will cut down nearly 900 roles, and the changes are driven by a shift in customer behaviour, including fall in volume of customers using branches and growth in digital adoption.
Also, the bank has previously announced its plans to reduce its branch network and the changes are expected to accelerate the complete branch transformation.
TSB chief executive 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.”
TSB will launch 100 mobile advisors in communities where its branches are closing
The branches to be closed have been selected to ensure that 94% of customers travel to a branch in less than 20 minutes, and the new network will have an average of 17,000 customers per branch.
TSB has partnered with IBM Cloud to enhance its digital services, and launch secure digital offerings. The partnership enabled launching of TSB Smart Agent during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The bank has a network of 290 branches which provide personal and SME services. Most of the branches are expected to be open on Saturdays and suitable time for customers, said the company.
Also, TSB is expanding its partnership with the Post Office by adding the offering for both business and personal customers, enabling deposit and withdraw cash using a card, and collect coin change from pre-agreed locations.
TSB said that it will launch 100 mobile advisors to support few communities where branches are closing, and is planning to work with local authorities and community organisations to identify suitable locations for mobile advisors.
The bank is axing a total of 969 roles while creating 120 new operational, making the net reduction of 849 roles, across its branch network, and in mortgages and customer service operations teams.
TSB customer banking director Robin Bulloch 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.”