TSB Bank closures: Bishop's Stortford branch one of 70 to be axed – but town will get a 'pop-up' service
The TSB Bank in Bishop's Stortford is to close in six months – one of 70 being axed in 2022 as the company responds to a decline in branch use and a growth in digital banking.
The outlet at the 193-year-old Corn Exchange in Market Square will shut its doors for the last time on May 26.
But Stortford is one of 10 towns earmarked to get a 'pop-up' branch. The bank has already opened 41 of these in communities across the country where it takes longer to get to the nearest branch.
These are in locations already used by the local community for other services, like council offices, libraries or community centres. At ‘pop-ups’, TSB advisors provide face-to-face support, including making payments, providing product information and helping customers get started with digital banking.
The planned closures will reduce TSB's current network of 290 branches to 220 by the end of June 2022. It will retain the seventh largest branch network in the UK. More than 90% of customers will still be able to travel to a TSB branch in 20 minutes or less.
There will be 150 fewer roles but all staff impacted by the changes will have the opportunity to move to an alternative role in TSB.
The branches that will close carry out around a third (32%) fewer transactions than the TSB national average. There is also a post office or free-to-use cashpoint within a mile of each closing branch.
In recent years, the bank has seen a significant decrease in branch use, with the average number of transactions per branch falling since January 2019 and no prospect of them returning to pre-Covid levels.
Two years ago, TSB set out its intention to reduce its branch network and invest in digital services, but the Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the shift away from branch services, with customers shopping and doing more online. Over 90% of customer transactions are now carried out digitally and video banking accounts for over 90% of mortgage appointments.
TSB’s chief customer officer Robin Bulloch 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.
“These changes allow us to maintain an extensive branch presence across the country. They are accompanied by a significant investment programme to upgrade branches to better suit customer needs. And, where it takes longer to get to the nearest branch, we will introduce more ‘pop-up’ services in communities.”
As with previous closures, additional support will be provided to vulnerable customers, including one-to-one advice on their banking needs, such as digital skills training and alternative ways to bank. They will also be contacted personally in advance of a branch closure to make them aware of the changes.
The TSB was founded in 1810 as the Trustee Savings Bank. In 1995 it merged with Lloyds to become Lloyds TSB. It was launched in its present form of TSB Bank in September 2013.