1. ITV Report

Santander set to close eleven branches in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Photo: PA

Santander is to close 140 branches in the UK, including nine in Yorkshire and two in Lincolnshire, putting more than 1,200 jobs at risk nationwide. It follows a slump in the number of transactions it handles.

The bank said it is consulting with unions and will seek to find alternative roles for 1,270 employees affected by the closures. It expects to redeploy about a third across the group.

These are the branches closing in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire in 2019:

  • Goole 31 Boothferry Road, Goole, East Yorkshire, DN14 5DE
  • Leeds Street Lane 77 Street Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 1BN
  • Otley 15-17 Kirkgate, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3HN
  • Ripon 15 Fishergate, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 1EA
  • Market Cross 22 Market Cross Shopping Centre, Selby, North Yorkshire, YO8 4JS
  • Skipton High Street 67 High Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 1DS
  • Wetherby 41 High Street, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 6LR
  • Yeadon 25 High Street, Yeadon, West Yorkshire, LS19 7SP
  • Driffield 49 Market Place, Driffield, East Yorkshire, YO25 6AW
  • Gainsborough 11-13 Market Street, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, DN21 2BL
  • Cleethorpes 43 St Peters Avenue, Cleethorpes, DN35 8JQ
Santander in Otley is one of nine branches due to close in Yorkshire. Credit: ITV Calendar

Following the closures by the end of the year, Santander will retain a network of 614 branches with its customers also having the option to bank using the more than 11,000 Post Office sites across the UK. The move comes as the number of transactions carried out at Santander branches fell by 23% over the past three years, while transactions online and on mobile phones soared by 99%.

According to consumer group Which?, nearly two thirds of the UK's bank branch network has been lost over the past 30 years.

Banks and building societies had 20,583 branches in 1988 according to parliamentary records, but the consumer group's analysis of current account providers suggests the figure has dwindled to 7,586 branches.

The big high street lenders such as Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking

Group are also closing stores to deal with customers' changing banking habits and to reduce costs as well as deal with the challenge from new digital only banks such as Starling and Monzo.

However, the branch closures is also seeing people having to travel long distances in order to access financial services and cash.

Santander also announced that it will spend £55 million refurbishing 100 branches over the next two years in order to "focus on personal service, convenience and community engagement".

Susan Allen, head of retail and business banking at Santander, said:

The way our customers are choosing to bank with us has changed dramatically in recent years, with more and more customers using online and mobile channels.

"As a result, we have had to take some very difficult decisions over our less visited branches, and those where we have other branches in close proximity."

– Susan Allen, Santander

She added that the bank expects the size of its branch network to "remain stable for the foreseeable future."

The lender, which is owned by Spanish banking giant Banco Santander, has around 15 million customers and as at the end of last June employed around 24,200 people.