Employees of the Santander Bank in UK are up in arms after bank authorities announced the closure of 140 branches in the country, including 12 branches in London, on Wednesday. The closure will start on April 25 and is likely to affect around 1,270 workers.
The bank authorities justified their decision by saying a majority of their customers were using online banking options to manage their money and, as a result, customers were visiting branches less frequently. The branch transactions in Santander have fallen by 23% over the past three years, while digital transactions have grown by 99%. In the wake of such a development, Santander claimed it had decided to review its branch network and close some branches.
“The bank has assured workers that it is consulting with union representatives to find new roles for the 1,270 workers affected by the closures and hopes to hold on to around a third of them,” the authorities said.
Morning Star reported that the Communication Workers Union (CWU) national assistant secretary for financial services said, “The union will do all it can to ensure job losses are kept to a minimum and will work with the bank to enable our members to get their preferred outcome.The bank expects to be able to redeploy around a third of those affected.”
A consumer service portal called Which? pointed out that since 2015, at least 3,101 branches of various banks had been closed in the country. Research conducted by the portal in November 2018 revealed that a fifth of UK households live more than three kilometres from their nearest current account provider.