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Hundreds of jobs at risk as TSB 'may close up to 100 branches'

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
A pedestrian shelters from the rain beneath a British Union flag themed umbrella as they pass an automated teller machine (ATM) outside a TSB bank branch. Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

UK bank TSB, owned by Spanish lender Sabadell (SAB.MC), may close up to 100 branches, putting 400 jobs at risk, according to a representative at trade union Affinity who spoke to The Guardian.

Mark Brown, general secretary of Affinity, which is not officially recognised by TSB but it represents around 3,900 of its 7,795 staff, said the bank is likely to announce its decision on 25 November.

“The results of TSB’s strategic review are going to be more branch closures and more job losses right across the bank. Hundreds of staff who saved TSB following its IT meltdown last year are going to be sacrificed on the altars of costs, efficiency and technology,” said Mark Brown.

Affinity did not immediately respond for comment to Yahoo Finance UK. However, a TSB spokesperson said: “We don’t comment on speculation.”

READ MORE: TSB CEO leaves bank after IT fiasco batters brand

Just over a year ago, TSB’s CEO Paul Pester left the bank after the lender endured a major IT meltdown which saw 1.9 million customers locked out of their accounts. The meltdown was down to a botched migration of customer data records from TSB's former owner Lloyds to a new IT system owned by Lloyds, for Spain's Sabadell bank.

It cost TSB over £330m in costs for customer compensation, fraud, and extra staff to fix the tech problems. It then took a further £36m hit the following year.

Along with trying to repair its reputation, newly installed CEO Debbie Crosbie is trying to find around £100m in cost savings.

However, bank closures are increasingly a common occurrence on the high street — there have been more than 3,000 branch closures since 2015.

READ MORE: '55 bank branches a month' are disappearing from UK high streets

RBS Group, made up of Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank, alone accounts for 1,094 of the closures. Natwest has shuttered 638 sites.

Lloyds Banking Group, which owns of Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, has closed 569 branches. Lloyd’s Bank accounts for 404 of these, Which? say.