Clydesdale to close 28 ‘unsustainable’ branches

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Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks are to close 28 “unsustainable” branches in the coming months under plans to invest £45 million in customer service improvements.

The lender, owned by National Australia Bank (NAB), said £5m in savings from the branch closures would be ploughed into revamping its remaining network of more than 300 sites.

In total, the group is to invest £25m in its branch refurbishment programme, plus more than £20m in improvements to its mobile and internet banking services.

A spokesman insisted no frontline jobs would be lost as a result of the shake-up, with affected staff relocated to busier branches.

Clydesdale is also to open four “flagship” branches, in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Leeds and Sheffield.

Among the branches earmarked for closure are its sites on Queensferry Street in Edinburgh and Govanhill in Glasgow.

Chief executive David Thorburn said: “There’s a lot of positive change being driven forward for our customers and there needs to be more as we build a better bank. Here we are making a significant investment to meet the changing needs of customers now and in the future.

“But to deliver what are fundamentally necessary changes, we have to face in to difficult decisions. No branch closure is welcomed by customers or staff, I understand that, which is why we are working to minimise the effects these changes have on them.”

Clydesdale delivered a pre-tax profit of £127m for the year to 30 September, reversing the previous year’s loss of £183m, following an overhaul that saw 1,400 jobs axed.