The UK's TSB is to double its digital banking team, creating 42 new jobs, and re-invest in its branch network as it pursues a bricks'n'clicks strategy for the business.
The bank is currently the subject of a £1.7 billion takeover by Spain's Banco Sabadell, in a deal which includes a £450 million sweetener from parent bank Lloyds to support the migration of the TSB's IT backbone onto Sabadell's proprietary Proteo platform.
While other banks are closing branches, the TSB launched a staunch defence of the branch network earlier this year, when it published a position paper explaining its strategy to to refurbish 265 branches and open 30 new outlets in selected locations.
The bank, which completed 158 million mobile and online transactions in 2014, says that selecting between remote banking on the one hand and branch banking on the other is a "false choice", pointing out that more than half of its digital customers still pop into a branch to do their banking.
Peter Navin, managing director for branch and business banking, says: "TSB recognises that customers want and deserve the best of both worlds - strong digital services and a thriving branch network working in concert. TSB believes customers should be able to bank how, when and where they want - this is what TSB calls ‘Local Banking on Demand’.
The bank has just opened its first revitalised branch in Enfield, stripping away barriers, introducing free wi-fi and employing digitally-savvy staff who can help customers to navigate the bank's online and mobile services.
TSB claims to be the first UK bank to appoint a chief digital officer to the executive team and has now announced plans to double its digital team, creating 42 new jobs in the process.
Ashley Machin, TSB’s chief digital officer says: “TSB’s branch and digital teams are working in concert, as we know it’s important to give our customers the best of both worlds. We’re listening to what customers tell us they want and that’s what we’re looking to provide. We’re not in the camp that wants to push people from one channel to another; it’s our customers’ choice as to how, when and where they bank with us.”