Co-operative Bank to close more branches in 2015

coop

The Co-operative Bank will close another 57 branches in 2015, and expects to see further job losses as customers migrate to mobile and digital banking.

Co-op bank closed 77 branches in 2014, and the additional closures will leave it with 165 branches, which will be a 44 per cent reduction in two years. Many other UK banks are closing branches due to falling demand for in-branch services thanks to the rise of digital banking.

Current chief executive Niall Booker, who is expected to stay on until 2016 to continue to right the bank’s tenuous position, said some job losses would be expected as people migrated to digital and mobile banking, IBTimes reported.

“Over time it seems likely the branch network will reduce in line with customers’ increased use of digital channels,” Booker said.

The bank’s operations stabilised in the second half of last year, after experiencing problems with its finances and boardroom culture since 2013. Co-op’s banking operations suffered after the discovery of a £1.5 billion black hole in its accounts, and its reputation was damaged by former chairman Paul Flower’s involvement with drugs.

While the number of current accounts at the bank still fell 4 per cent over 2014, its pre-tax losses of £246 million were a “significant improvement” over 2013’s £632.8 million, the bank said.

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