Co-op Bank axing 18 branches and slashing 350 jobs

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Co-op Bank axing 18 branches and slashing 350 jobs, in another blow to Britain’s beleaguered High Streets

Co-op Bank is axing 18 branches and slashing 350 jobs, in another blow to Britain’s beleaguered high streets. 

The loss-making lender blamed the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, as it said the job cuts would affect branch staff, middle managers and head office workers. 

Sign of the times: The loss-making lender blamed the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus

It means that the Co-op Bank, which dates back to 1872 and was founded to provide more ethical service to its customers, will soon have just 50 branches. And in a worrying sign for business owners and customers, it takes the number of closures announced across all banks for 2020 to 265. 

TSB is planning to close 82 branches this year. Lloyds Bank has also announced 56 branch closures and Natwest said this month it was cutting 550 jobs in branches. 

Since January 2015, the number of bank branches across the UK has tumbled by 3,364 to 6,439, says consumer champion Which?. 

Co-Op Bank’s chief executive Andrew Bester said: ‘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.’

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