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MORE than 1,200 jobs are at risk after Santander announced plans today to close hundreds of branches.
The bank claimed that 140 of its branches do not receive enough customer visits, making them a drain on company funds.
The number of transactions carried out at Santander branches has fallen by 23 per cent since 2015, while digital and online transactions rose by 99 per cent.
Santander business banking head Susan Allen said the company has had to “take some very difficult decisions” regarding many of its branches.
The bank has assured workers that it is consulting with union representatives to find new roles for the 1,270 workers affected by the closures and hopes to hold on to around a third of them.
Communication Workers Union (CWU) said that a result of these reductions to its branch network by Santander UK, there are 1,270 workers who could be potentially placed at risk of redundancy. The bank expects to be able to redeploy around a third of those affected.
CWU national assistant secretary for financial services said: “The CWU will do all it can to ensure job losses are kept to a minimum and will work with the bank to enable our members to get their preferred outcome.”
Following the closures, which are due to take effect by the end of the year, Santander will retain a network of 614 branches, with its customers also having the option to bank using the more than 11,000 Post Office sites nationwide.
Labour’s shadow City minister Jonathan Reynolds called the closures “disappointing.”
He said: “Shutting bank branches not only means jobs will be lost but also damages local communities and high streets.
“We have a duty to ensure there is basic banking infrastructure for all who need it.”
The Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds have also axed branches in the last few years.
Which? Money head Gareth Shaw said: “These closures will come as a blow for all those who rely on access to traditional banking services across the UK, at a time when branches are disappearing at a rate of more than 60 a month.”
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