Now that TSB is in play, it’s become more desperate to cut costs to attract potential buyers.

Yesterday, TSB announced that it is closing 70 more branches in Q2 2022 with the loss of 150 jobs. The number of Cluster Managers will fall from 37 to 27, with loyal, hardworking staff being told whether they’ve got a job in the new structure on 16th December. Just in time for Christmas! We shouldn’t be surprised; TSB threw 900 staff on the scrap heap in the middle of a global pandemic.

We’ve been saying for a long time that TSB is in a doom-loop, it’s just that its senior management team don’t know it yet. It is closing branches, cutting costs, and moving to a largely digital only proposition. But that strategy is not going to work in the long-term.

As part of the regulatory framework, an independent survey of 800 customers of each of the 16 largest personal accounts providers asks if they would recommend their provider’s on-line and mobile banking services to friends and family. The 16 providers are required to display those results. When Debbie Crosbie joined TSB, its online and mobile banking services were ranked 15 out of 16, with a score of 63% of customers recommending the services. The latest results (August 2021) show that the TSB was 14 out of 16, with a score of 68%. So, after two and half years in charge Mrs Crosbie has managed to move TSB up just one place. Is that performance worthy of someone paid £2.5 million in pay and bonuses? Is that a digital strategy that looks like it’s going to work in the long-term? When it comes to recommendations from friends and family, TSB is 20%+ points behind the digital start-ups and big banks, and they are only going to get better because they’ve got more money to invest. In the absence of local branches, potential new customers are not going to be attracted to a bank that is at the bottom of the digital league table.

The government’s public consultation on its proposals to ensure that customers and businesses have a legal right to withdraw and deposit cash within a “reasonable distance” will publish its findings in early December. Those findings and any new proposals could have some bearing on TSB’s announcement yesterday. Hopefully, it could force TSB to look at its plans again.

Members with any questions on this Newsletter can contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1).

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