TSB is to close 82 branches next year in a further blow to the UK’s cash-based small businesses. It is cutting up to 400 jobs as part of a strategy overhaul aimed at saving £100m by 2022.
The move, announced this week, has been strongly criticised by the Unite union, which urged the company to reverse the “appalling decision”.
National officer Dominic Hook said: “The decision by TSB to abandon 82 local community bank branches is absolutely deplorable and a tragedy for the banking sector. This is a betrayal of the bank’s customers and staff who have remained loyal through recent tough times.”
The decision to close the branches was disclosed by TSB chief executive Debbie Crosbie, who also said the company will pump £120m into its digital channels over the next three years in a bid to make three-quarters of its customers digitally active.
The investment will be used to build on the bank’s existing mobile app capabilities, as well as the automation of some of its branches.
The bank said it will incur restructuring charges of around £180m over the course of the plan, while between 300 and 400 employees will be made redundant.
TSB, which posted a loss last year, said it aims to record pre-tax profit of between £120m and £140m in 2022.
The new strategy also marks a move away from TSB’s previous slogan of ‘Local banking for Britain’, with Crosbie instead making reference to its target market of the ‘Aspiring Middle’. This segment is made up of “working families, money balances and variable income customer group”, who the bank boss said have a “wealth of unmet needs”.
The move comes as the high street bank reels from the findings of an independent probe into a catastrophic IT meltdown that last year left two million customers without access to online banking and cost the firm £370m.
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