TSB bank staff braced for job losses as branches earmarked for closure

TSB staff across Suffolk and north Essex face an anxious wait to find out the fate of their branches

TSB staff across Suffolk and north Essex face an anxious wait to find out the fate of their branches Picture: GOOGLEMAPS - Credit: Archant

Worried bank staff across branches in Suffolk and north Essex are bracing themselves for bad news after TSB announced plans to shut sites across the UK.

Up to 400 jobs could go with the closure of 82 branches next year as the bank prunes back its 550-strong network.

TSB is set to make a further announcement on Thursday, November 28, but job losses are likely to come from smaller and quieter high street branches.

MORE - Do you really remember what Ipswich high street looked like 10 years ago?"There's nothing we can say about locations at the moment because we are talking to all our staff that could be affected," a spokeswoman said.

TSB - which employs an average of around four to five staff at each bank - has branches in towns across Suffolk and north Essex, including Ipswich Buttermarket, Stowmarket, Hadleigh, Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, Great Dunmow and Bishop's Stortford.

TSB said it would try to find new jobs for affected staff elsewhere in the group.

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The closures are part of a plan to save around £100m by 2022, and turn a profit of between £130m and £140m, TSB boss Debbie Crosbie said as she set out her three-year plan for the business.

"The plan we're sharing today involves some difficult decisions, but it sets TSB up to succeed in the future," she said.

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"Taken together, these changes will help us to serve more customers, better, for the long-term."

The proposals also include a push to invest another £120m in digital products, as the bank says it expects 70% to 80% of its sales to come from digital channels by 2022, up from 46% in September this year.

The announcement comes during a tough retail environment for British banks, with high streets suffering while online-only challengers are luring customers awary with new types of accounts.

TSB had around twice the number of stores per 10,000 customers in 2018 as the average in the UK, the bank said.

"With a trusted brand, modern platform, and national presence, TSB is well placed to deliver - but we need to make changes to enable us to compete," Ms Crosbie said.

"Our new strategy positions TSB to succeed in a challenging external environment at a time when we know customers want something different and better from their bank."

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