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WFH — a blessing in disguise for banks’ branch ops?INTL

WFH — a blessing in disguise for banks’ branch ops?

A year into the pandemic, it seems like Santander UK (SAN) is finally ready to accept that work from home is here to stay and that going to bank branches is a thing of the past. The bank is going to close 111 branches in the country by the end of August.

Santander’s CEO said that branch usage by customers “has fallen considerably over recent years,” which prompted their decision. Truth is, younger customers most likely already preferred online banking even pre-lockdown.

Santander plans on retaining a “significant” number of the staff affected, although it looks like only about 200 of the 840 at-risk employees will stay with the company.

why it matters
The banking industry has known for years that an almost total shift to online would happen at some point, which is why many have closed lots of their brick-and-mortar locations and invested heavily in FinTech. Rival lender Nationwide (NBS) also recently announced a major cutback in office space as part of its “work anywhere” initiative.