Santander said branch transaction numbers have fallen by 23% over the past three years, while transactions via digital channels almost doubled over the same period.
Linda Rolph, general secretary of Advance, a trade union representing Santander UK employees, described the job losses as “really disappointing, but not a terribly big surprise given the way the industry is going. Our main aim is to try and get as many jobs as we can to people.”
Susan Allen, Santander’s head of retail and business banking, said: “The way our customers are choosing to bank with us has changed dramatically in recent years, with more and more customers using online and mobile channels. As a result, we have had to take some very difficult decisions over our less-visited branches and those where we have other branches in close proximity.”
Allen said branches still had a “vital role” in its plans and the bank expected its network to “remain stable for the foreseeable future” – a period understood to cover at least until the end of 2020. Santander will spend £55m on refurbishing 100 remaining branches over the next two years.