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Co-operative Bank plans to slash around 400 roles in cost-cutting drive

The Co-operative Bank has said it plans to cut around one in 10 of its workforce, shedding approximately 400 jobs, in a bid to cut costs.

The bank said that it was embarking on a consultation and restructure which will lead to a net reduction of 12% of its roles across the organisation.

“Today, we have announced a series of changes across the bank which are essential for the delivery of the next phase of the strategic plan,” the Co-operative Bank said.

“These include the commencement of a consultation on a proposed operating model restructure which is expected to result in a net reduction of approximately 400 roles (12%) across the bank.

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“The decision has not been made lightly, and the bank will continue to work closely with our trade union and to support impacted colleagues.”

It comes around a month after the business reported that its pre-tax profit nearly halved from £132.6 million in 2022 to £71.4 million the following year.

It put the drop down to one-off costs including nearly £29 million which was set aside to cover redress to past mortgage customers. Staff costs also increased by a fifth during 2023.

The redundancies will be made across the business, including head office, operations and branch roles, but no branch closures are planned as a result.

Around 200 to 250 people are expected to leave the business, with people in other affected roles being able to apply for different jobs within the company.

The consultation period will end in early May, and those impacted will then serve their notice period.

The business said that it has been trying to “simplify and transform” over the last three years, which it hopes can bring “long-term sustainable growth”.

It has put £100 million into a new IT system, which is close to being completed.

“As the bank enters the next phase of its transformation plan it will seek to leverage the benefit of this investment and will be taking steps to ensure we have the right resource and processes in place to deliver our customer and commercial objectives,” the bank said.

“Accordingly, the bank has undertaken a review to identify opportunities to simplify processes, reduce our cost base and make efficiency improvements.”

Late last year the bank revealed it was in “exclusive discussions” with Coventry Building Society over a potential merger of the two firms.