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TSB to close quarter of branches in ‘another hammer blow’ to UK high street

·5-min read
<span>Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Bank is latest to announce slashing of branch network in response to increase in digital banking use


TSB Bank is closing a further 70 branches – a quarter of its network – in a move described by campaigners as “yet another hammer blow” to the UK high street.

Fourteen months ago TSB had 475 branches, but these latest cuts – following a wave of previous closures in 2020 and this year – mean that by the end of June 2022 this number will have more than halved to 220.

TSB is the latest in a line of banks to announce it is slashing its network in response to what it said was a continuing decline in branch use and increasing numbers of customers switching to digital banking – a trend accelerated by the pandemic.

Its branches closing next year are spread across the country, from Thurso on the north coast of the Scottish Highlands to Exeter in Devon.

TSB said it remained committed to a UK-wide branch network and that, after the cuts, it would still have the 7th largest network in the UK. It added that the branches that were closing conducted about one-third fewer transactions than the TSB national average, and there was a post office or free-to-use ATM within a mile of each affected outlet.

A series of branch closures have been announced during the pandemic, with financial institutions insisting customers are spurning traditional counter service in favour of online banking. In October this year, Lloyds Banking Group said it would be closing a further 48 branches, while in September, Virgin Money announced it was shutting 31 outlets for good. In March, Santander revealed it was closing 111.

TSB said that in recent years it had seen a significant decrease in branch usage, with the average number of transactions per outlet falling since January 2019 and “no prospect of branch transactions returning to pre-Covid levels”. More than nine in 10 transactions are now carried out digitally.

Robin Bulloch, TSB’s chief customer officer, said: “Closing branches is an incredibly difficult decision to take, but we have to respond to the changes in the way people bank and provide the right mix of services for all our customers now and into the future.” He added that the bank had already opened “pop-up” services in 41 locations and a further 10 were now planned.

According to the consumer body Which?, banks and building societies have closed or announced the closure of about 4,300 branches since January 2015, not including the latest announcement.

Dr Jackie Mulligan, the founder of ShopLocalOnline.org and one of the government-commissioned High Streets Task Force experts, said: “This news is yet another hammer blow to the UK high street, which is already reeling after nearly two years of pain.”

Mulligan added: “The shift online is irreversible, but so, too, is the damage that a bank leaving a high street can cause for the shops that surround it. Local high-street shops need their local communities more than ever, and the gradual retreat of banks, which bring all-important footfall, poses another existential threat.”

The TSB branches closing next year

Aylesbury, 1-3 Market Street – closing on 19 April
Bath, 10 Quiet Street – 15 June
Bermondsey, 253/255 Southwark Park Road – 27 April
Bishop’s Stortford, 3 The Corn Exchange – 26 May
Bromley, 58 High Street – 18 May
Bury St Edmunds, 8 Guildhall Street – 26 May
Camberley, 54 High Street – 5 May
Cambridge, 6 St Andrews Street – 20 April
Carolgate, 1 Carolgate – 24 May
Cleveleys, 77 Victoria Road West – 8 June
Colchester, 2 Culver Street West – 31 May
Coldside, 101 Strathmartine Road – 13 April
Cirencester, 37 Market Place – 14 June
Denton, 38 Ashton Road – 17 May
Ealing, 31 New Broadway – 5 May
Eastbourne, 76 Terminus Road – 17 May
Ellon, 36 Bridge Street – 19 April
Exeter, 6 High Street – 21 June
Forfar, 20 East High Street – 14 April
Forres, 156 High Street – 27 April
Fort William, 6 Tweedale High Street – 20 April
Frodsham, 96 Main Street – 22 June
Garston, 6 Speke Road – 9 June
Gateshead, 264 High Street – 10 May
Gillingham, Sydenham House – 15 June
Greenwich, 6 Crescent Arcade – 28 April
Harlesden, 58 High Street – 28 April
Horsham, Unit 1 – 12 May
Kirkintilloch, 4 Alexandra Street – 28 April
Lanark, 25 Bannatyne Street – 27 April
Longbridge, 1401 Bristol Road South – 28 June
Louth, 11-13 Eastgate – 24 May
Magdalen Street, 65 Magdalen Street – 28 June
Maidstone, 16 High Street – 10 May
Market Hill, 17 Market Hill – 16 June
Maryport, 109/111 Senhouse Street – 10 May
Melton Mowbray, 23-25 High Street – 1 June
Morden, 66 London Road – 11 May
Morecombe, Lunedale House – 7 June
Nelson, 23 Manchester Road – 18 May
Newbury, 26 Northbrook Street – 7 June
Newton Aycliffe, Unit 3B, Greenwell Road – 3 May
Northallerton, 164 High Street – 3 May
Ossett, 3 Wesley Street – 17 May
Oxford, 17 George Street – 7 June
Redcar, 87-89 High Street – 4 May
Redditch, 4 Unicorn Hill – 2 June
Romford, 3 Stewards Walk – 31 May
Ross-On-Wye, 9a Gloucester Road – 22 June
Rushden, 133 High Street – 21 April
Sherwood, 583 Mansfield Road – 29 June
Shrewsbury, 45 High Street – 28 June
Solihull, 58 Poplar Road – 1 June
Southend-On-Sea, 32 London Road – 2 June
Stranraer, 21 Castle Street – 28 April
Sutton, 79 Ellamsbridge Road – 26 May
Swaffham, 61 Market Place – 24 May
Taunton, 34 North Street – 12 April
Thornbury, 9 St Mary’s Way – 9 June
Thurso, 12/14 Traill Street – 21 April
Tunbridge Wells, 62 Mount Pleasant Road – 19 May
Uxbridge, 24 Chequers Square – 4 May
West End, 68 Baker Street – 4 May
Weston-super-Mare, 12 Walliscote Road – 23 June
Wilmslow, Emerson Court, Alderley Road – 14 June
Wimborne, 5 The Square – 13 April
Winsford, 160 High Street – 21 June
Woodseats, 1 Abbey Lane – 15 June
Worcester, 24 Mealcheapen Street – 21 June
Yeovil, King George Street – 12 April

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