The Co-op Bank has announced today that it plans to cut 350 jobs and close 18 branches nationwide as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The lender said the job cuts would focus on middle management positions and roles at the Manchester city centre head office.
The branch closures are expected to be completed by 1st December and come after an analysis of footfall in each store, which was actually said to have begun before lockdown was put in place. The bank has said it hopes to re-deploy some of its employees into other parts of the business and it begins consulting with staff and unions.
It has been confirmed that the Ashton-under-Lyne branch is the only branch in the Greater Manchester region that is set to close.
Andrew Bester – Chief Executive at Co-op Bank – 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 company added that is 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”.
This is a breaking news story – More to follow.