UK

Lloyds, Bank of Scotland and Halifax to shut 60 branches across the UK putting 124 jobs at risk

Lloyds Banking Group has announced it will shut 60 branches, including Lloyds, Bank of Scotland and Halifax sites, across the UK due to customers switching to online banking.

The lending giant said it would close 24 Lloyds branches, as well as 19 Bank of Scotland and 17 Halifax sites.

The branches are thought to employ 124 people, but Lloyds said it would try to find affected staff new roles within the company.

The bank said it had seen a 27% rise in use of its mobile banking app over the last two years, and a 12% rise in regular users of its online banking system.

Now 18.6 million people regularly bank online and 15 million use the mobile app.

“Just like many other high street businesses, fewer customers are choosing to visit our branches,” the business’s group retail director Vim Maru said.

“Our branch network is an important way for us to support our customers, but we need to adapt to the significant growth in customers choosing to do most of their everyday banking online.”

The bank said that customers were continuing to choose online and mobile banking more frequently than using a branch.

The group currently has 739 Lloyds branches, 553 Halifax branches and 184 Bank of Scotland sites.

Caren Evans, national officer for the union Unite, said: “Lloyds Banking Group must not be allowed to abandon 60 more local communities where bank branches play an essential role.

“The 124 employees who work tirelessly in their communities are dedicated to serving the banking needs of the most vulnerable who depend on their skilled services.

“When a bank branch closes, the heart of the local community is ripped out and the results are devastating. Unite is clear that simply leaving an ATM in place of a vibrant bank branch is wholly insufficient.

“The banking sector needs to answer some serious questions about its corporate social responsibilities and the Government cannot stand back and allow the relentless closure of banks to continue until no more local banking services remain.”

The news follows several other closures from the bank, which said in October it could close 48 sites, and announced 44 closures in June last year.

Xural.com

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