THE Co-Operative Bank has announced plans to cut 350 jobs and close 18 branches.
The banking group is the latest business to have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
Co-operative Bank confirmed the news in an update today, saying it’s been affected by record low Bank of England interest rates.
Interest rates have been held at 0.1% – the lowest level in 400 years – to help reduce the economic shock of the pandemic for borrowers.
For lenders, it means lower profitability because of the cheaper borrowing costs.
Co-operative Bank says it’s also been impacted by more people banking online.
The 18 branches that have been earmarked for closure will shut by December 1 this year.
You can see a full list of locations in the box above.
The bank will also write to all affected customers with information about alternative options available to them.
Co-operative Bank said it had chosen the sites after analysing their footfall over the last 12 months.
The bank says it’s already spoken to affected staff at these stores, while the group is also planning on axing some middle management and head office roles.
Bosses say they will try to redeploy staff where possible.
Co-Op Bank chief executive Andrew Bester said: “Our people have shown great dedication and commitment to our customers over the past few months, so we are very sorry to announce this news today.
“Unfortunately, we’re not immune to the impact of recent events, with the historically low base rate affecting the income of all banks and a period of prolonged economic uncertainty ahead.”
He continued: “We will do all we can to support colleagues through the process with fairness and respect.”
Co-Operative Bank isn’t the only business to announce job cuts following the coronavirus pandemic.
STA Travel has gone out of business with 500 people set to lose their jobs.
M&S has confirmed plans to axe up to 7,000 shop floor workers, while River Island is cutting 350 senior roles.
A staggering 730,000 Brits have become unemployed since March when the coronavirus lockdown began.