Uncertainty for Wigan banks as firm announces it will close 164 branches

Uncertainty surrounds the future of two Wigan banks after TSB announced it would close 164 branches around the country.
Hundreds of jobs will be axedHundreds of jobs will be axed
Hundreds of jobs will be axed

It has not yet confimed which branches will shut their doors, so staff affected can be informed, but around 900 jobs will be axed nationwide.

The bank currently has 475 branches, including those on Ormskirk Road in Pemberton and on Gerard Street in Ashton.

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TSB had already announced a further 21 closures before the end of 2020.

The Spanish-owned bank said the cuts have been driven by a “significant shift in customer behaviour”, as fewer people use branches and instead favour online banking.

The company, which is based in Edinburgh, had previously said it intended to reduce the size of its branch network but it has now accelerated plans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It will leave the bank with 290 branches, more than halving its store estate over the past seven years.

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It says branches earmarked for closure have been selected to ensure 94 per cent of TSB customers can travel in 20 minutes or less to a branch.

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.”

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The firm said the cuts are being made across its branch network, as well as in its mortgages and customer service operations teams.

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.”

Dominic Hook, Unite national officer, said: “Unite has urged the bank to rethink these plans and protect these much-needed jobs during the current health pandemic.

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“Not only do these staff deserve more from their employer after showing the utmost loyalty to TSB, customers will be deeply hit by these branch closures.

“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.”

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