In a statement published yesterday (Tuesday), a TSB spokesperson said the decision had been made in response to “declining branch use and increasing numbers of customers switching to digital banking services”.
The statement continued: “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 branch transactions returning to pre-Covid levels.
“Two years ago, TSB set out its intention to reduce its branch network and invest in digital services, as part of its strategy to meet the future needs of customers, 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.
“The branches that will close carry out around a third (32 per cent) fewer transactions than the TSB national average. There is also a Post Office or free to use ATM within a mile of each closing branch.”
TSB’s Chief Customer Officer Robin Bulloch added: “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.”
The chairman of the Louth Independent Traders, Gary Denniss, responded by saying that recent bank closure announcements in Louth, such as TSB and Barclays, were ‘bad for the town’.
Mr Denniss said: “For the town as a whole, if we are losing banks then people are going to go elsewhere and the town is going to lose out because of it. The more that go, the more it’s going to lose.
“We’re being told to save the planet, but now they’re talking about driving 15 miles to Grimsby or 20-odd miles to Lincoln. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Mr Denniss suggested it would make sense for a ‘banking hub’ to be set up in one of the large buildings currently occupied by one of the banks in the town, with the participating banks splitting the costs involved.
He said: “Having a hub where all the banks are in one bulding, to me that makes good sense. It’s all about adapting to the situation. Why can’t they do that and continue with a banking service in the town?”
The Louth Leader contacted TSB for comment about the branch closure announcement and put forward Mr Denniss’ proposal for a banking hub.
A TSB spokesperson said: “We have not taken the decision to close our Louth branch lightly, but we have to respond to declining branch use and increasing numbers of customers switching to digital banking services.
“Customer transactions at the branch have fallen by 49 per cent since January 2019, and we see no prospect of branch transactions returning to pre-Covid levels.
“The closest Post Office is located 0.3 miles from the Louth branch and the nearest free to use ATM is under 0.1 miles away.”
The spokesperson added that TSB Louth colleagues “have the option for a new role, and we can accommodate all impacted staff with options within the business”.