Co-op Bank to cut branches and 350 jobs as online trend grows

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Co-op Bank is to shut 18 branches and cull 350 jobs due to a shift towards online banking and falling number of visits to its branches.

The job cuts will fall on middle management and head office roles, it said, and be completed by the start of December.

Andrew Bester, chief executive, 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.”

More and more customers are choosing to bank online, he added, with lower levels of transactions in branches.

The bank said it had looked carefully at footfall across its branches before picking the 18 for closure.

Co-op is just one of several banks that are cutting branches.

Lloyds Bank is shutting 56 branches while Natwest recently said it was cutting 550 jobs from its branch and premier services operation.

The Co-op Bank almost collapsed in 2013 when it uncovered a GBP1.5bn black hole in its accounts and was bailed out again in 2017.

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