Trade union “bitterly disappointed” by CYBG branch closures

Trade union Unite said it is “bitterly disappointed” by the announcement from Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank (CYBG).

CYBG has confirmed it will close 79 branches, resulting in the redeployment of 400 jobs, but will try to find roles for these staff at other branches or elsewhere in the bank.

It said the ongoing decline in branch usage along with the increased use of digital and mobile engagement, has driven a shift to providing greater access to day-to-day banking services remotely.

Gavin Opperman, customer banking director at CYBG, said: “While the decision to close any branch is never an easy one, it is important that we, in line with other banks operating in the UK market, continue to respond to changes in the way customers want to bank with us.”

CYBG said it is committing £350m over the next two years to support this digital transformation as well as invest in a more sustainable branch network.

It said the closing of branches combined with its investment programme is part of a strategy to drive sustainable customer growth and build a more efficient bank.

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said: “Unite is clear that the closure of a third of the bank’s branches will not only be concerning for staff but the local communities which will see their bank branch close.

“The union has called on the bank to give a commitment to mitigate compulsory redundancies where possible and that they will reconsider closing any bank branches that are the last bank in a town.”