In an honest answer to a straightforward question – something we don’t see enough of these days – Robin Bulloch, Director of Retail Banking, confirmed what we’ve been saying for a long-time, that the number of staff in TSB branches is going be steadily reduced. He also alluded to the fact that the number of branches is also going to reduce.

But just copying what the big five banks are doing is not the answer for TSB. It should be looking to maintain its branches, not close them. If TSB needs to cut costs, then it should be looking at senior roles in head office functions. There are four members of TSB’s Media Team. What value do they bring to the business? We probably generate more TSB related stories than they do! And it only takes us a few hours a week! Moreover, the teams in partner communications, public affairs and stakeholder engagement seem to be positively brimming with staff, whilst many branches and operational centres resemble the ‘Mary Celeste’. We don’t want anyone to lose their jobs but TSB is wrong to cut branch numbers now, especially when its overall service quality scores are so poor. If it wasn’t for the performance of the branches, the overall service quality score would be even lower. TSB’s online and mobile banking services were rated 18th out of 19 providers. Only Tesco Bank was worse. According to the independent service quality survey results, 65% of TSB customers would recommend the bank’s online and mobile banking services to friends and family. For Nationwide it was 81%, Metro Bank 85% and Monzo 89%.  What’s clear is that TSB’s digital platform will never be able to compete with the fintechs, start-ups or the big five banks because it doesn’t have the money needed to invest in the service. Lloyds is spending £1bn + a year on its digital offering compared to TSB’s £100 million. To put that into some kind of perspective, last year JP Morgan spent $11bn on technology alone.

We are not saying for one minute that TSB shouldn’t have a digital offering, but increasingly putting all your eggs into one basket is a recipe for disaster. Equally. investing just £10 million + in the branch network over the next few years is a drop in the ocean. More is needed.

“Life Made More”

TSB will be launching its new brand identity in Q4.

Whilst on the subject of the new brand identity, have you noticed the similarities between TSB’s new brand colours and use of multi-coloured dots and the brand identity used by Cancer Research UK. Cancer Research UK launched their new brand identity in 2014.  I’m no marketing or branding expert but the colours are identical and the use of different sized multi-coloured dots looks eerily familiar.

Have a look at the Cancer Research UK website and see what you think?

Members with any questions should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 (choose Option 1).

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