The UK's TSB is to press ahead with its branch closure programme as it turns in a £204.6 million lost for FY2020, with financial performance significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A £90.1 million reduction in total income to £894.8 million was attributed to the adoption of government and regulatory measures in response to Covid-19, lower overdraft income from regulatory driven pricing changes, lower interest rates and reduced consumer spending.
TSB axed 93 branches last year as part of its continued transformation plan, with some 600 employees affected as part of this process.
In September, the lender said it would shutter a third of its branch network and layoff 900 staff, citing a shift in customer behviour as users shun the high street in favour of remote banking services.
Moves by the likes of TSB, HSBC and Lloyds Bank to close banck branches prompted a warning last week from the Financial Conduct Authority, which urged the UK's high street banks to reconsider branch closures during the Coronavirus lockdown.
TSB, which two million digitally active customers, says it is investing in its remaining high street outlets, rolling out self-serve deposit capability and video banking across the network. The firm has also partnered with third party fintechs, such as ApTap, Wealthify and Square, to offer additional services to customers.
The group has additionally recruited 100 roles at a new technology centre in Edinburgh, part of a £120m investment in IT, and expanded its apprenticeship scheme to 60 locations to cover technology and data roles.
Debbie Crosbie, TSB’s chief executive, sought to put a gloss on the poor performance: "TSB’s underlying performance is much improved. We’re ahead of plan in delivery of our strategy and have relaunched our brand, all of which sets us up well for the future. However, the impact of the pandemic and the additional cost of restructuring overshadows our financial result for the year."