Jobs fears at axed bank branch

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A St Helens town centre bank branch is set to close, prompting fears that a number of jobs are at risk.

The Co-operative bank on Hardshaw Street will shut its doors on June 22, with bosses blaming a “fall in transactions” rendering the branch “unsustainable”.

Heather Lauder, director of retail and business banking at The Co-operative Bank, said: “These changes reflect the changing way that our customers choose to bank, as they increasingly undertake more of their transactions online or via contactless payments.

“The fall in the number of transactions made in the branches means it is simply no longer sustainable to keep them open.”

She added: “Our branch network remains an integral part of our overall customer service offer. We are redesigning and modernising our branches as consumers look to use the branch for more complex face to face advice at critical moments.

“We are also investing in our digital offering to provide customers with new, innovative ways to service their accounts and last year we launched a new mobile banking platform and introduced Apple Pay.”

It is believed four jobs could now be at risk.

Heather added: “We’re committed to maintaining the high levels of service that our personal and business customers have come to expect from us and we have sought to minimise the impact of these closures.

“We are writing to those affected to provide information about the alternative options available to them.

“Alongside online and mobile banking facilities, all closing branches are within three miles of a Post Office branch where customers can undertake most day to day transactions, and in many cases much closer.

“The branches affected will close during June 2017. The Bank’s network will then comprise 95 branches in total.”