The Co-operative Bank, the British retail and commercial bank has announced that it will close 18 of its branches across England and cut 350 jobs, 11% of its workforce, by 1st December. The job cuts will affect people working in the branches to be closed, in the head office and in middle management roles.
The bank’s chief executive said the cuts and closures were meant to save money and 'right-size the operating model' in response to the low interest rates and the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that there was a shift towards customers increasingly using online banking services, even before the pandemic started.
The trade union Unite said the news was 'particularly painful' because employees of the bank had experienced a number of restructures in the past decade.
The Co-operative Bank has a customer-led ethical policy, which means that the bank does not provide banking services to organisations that conflict with customers’ views on a range of issues, for example human rights or animal welfare.