Co-op forecasts 150,000 more bank posts cut

A further 150,000 jobs will be cut by high street banks over the next five years, according to Co-operative Bank's managing director, Terry Thomas. This is more than double the figure suggested recently by Brian Pitman, chief executive of Lloyds Bank.

Mr Thomas, whose own bank has announced a two-year moratorium on compulsory redundancies as part of its latest pay round, said Mr Pitman had probably minimised his estimate because of the likely anxiety it would provoke among Lloyds' staff.

"By the turn of the century another 100,000 to 150,000 jobs will have gone, because of the cost of bank and building society branches," Mr Thomas said.

"It doesn't take a genius to work out. Banking will be available by phone, cable and satellite. It's just common sense. I can't understand why everyone is surprised."

The Co-op has run a high-profile advertising campaign, highlighting its ethical stance on investment. Although the bank has cut 1,000 jobs, just under a quarter of its headcount, Mr Thomas does not expect further significant job cuts.

Over the past 10 years Co-op has nearly doubled its branch network, from 75 offices to 135. "We bit the bullet early on. Now we are penetrating the market and need the people we have," Mr Thomas said.

Bifu, the banking union that has been loud in its condemnation of job losses in the industry, was incredulous at Mr Thomas's new estimate yesterday. A spokesman, Noel Howell, said: "I think Mr Thomas must be talking out of the wrong end of his phone.

"People see phone banking as an adjunct to going to a branch. If banks go on closing branches, service will fall and there will be a customer backlash. Customer complaints are already at an all-time high."

Mr Thomas was unabashed: "Just look at what has happened to the steel and coal industries in this country over the past 20 years.

"You either sell something at a price which people are willing to pay or you end up without a job. Why should banking be any different?

"Nobody owes us a living. Yes, there will be a customer backlash if branches go on being cut, but people will be willing to pay for quality of service."

Bifu said that more than 115,000 jobs had already been lost among banks, building societies and insurance companies over the past five years, under the pressure of competition, cost-cutting and new technology. The current total headcount for this core financial sector is about 600, 000.

Mr Howell said Bifu was particularly worried by the prospects for big cuts by building societies that have recently merged, as well as insurance companies retrenching.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Direct Marketing Manager - B2C, Financial Services - Slough

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum