Co-op Bank set to cut 350 jobs and close branches across the UK

Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank has today announced that it will be cutting 350 jobs and closing 18 branches across the UK, as it plans to move its operations to online banking.

The firm blamed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current record low interest rates. They did, however, announce that they would plan to redeploy as many of the 350 employees to new roles as 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.

“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 18 branches being closed will shut by December, and was in the process of contacting the customers at the branches about the decision.

Industry reaction

Rob MacGregor, National Officer at Unite, said: “Unite is deeply disappointed that The Co-operative Bank has made the decision to cut 350 staff and close 18 bank branches. Job losses are always unwelcome, however given the repeated restructuring exercises that this workforce has been through over the past 10 years the news today will be particularly painful.”