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Co-op Bank to close 18 branches and cut 350 jobs

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The bank blamed economic uncertainty and the rise in popularity of online banking for the job losses.

As well as jobs lost due to the branch closures, roles will also go in middle management and head office.

The Co-op has spoken to affected employees and is currently consulting with staff and trade unions on the proposals. It says it will try and redeploy employees into alternative jobs where possible.

Andrew Bester, Co-operative Bank chief executive, 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.

“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.”

The branch closures are expected to be completed by 1 December 2020 and have been chosen following analysis of individual branch footfall during 2019.

The Co-op said it is writing to affected customers to provide information about the alternative options available to them, including Post Office counter services, telephone, online and mobile banking.

The 18 branches proposed for closure are:

  • Ashton
  • Bradford
  • Cambridge
  • Chatham
  • Chester
  • Chichester
  • City of London
  • Dartford
  • Halesowen
  • Harrogate
  • Luton
  • Oxford
  • Rotherham
  • Solihull
  • Truro
  • Wakefield
  • Walsall
  • York