A year since its return to high streets across Britain, TSB Bank celebrates its first anniversary by detailing a £250 million investment in delivering a different sort of banking for Britain. The investment will include opening new branches, refurbishing others, and improving further its market-leading online and mobile banking services.
The Bank has also today issued a report on Why branches matter in a digital age . TSB believes its 'bricks and clicks' model puts customers firmly in the driving seat by giving them the option to bank how, when and where they want, be that in branch, online or over the telephone.
One of the key differences that sets TSB apart is that it serves only local customers and local businesses, in order to fuel local economies, and so help create thriving local communities all across Britain, and nowhere else. And TSB believes that its branches, on 631 high streets across Britain are a key part of this.
So whilst other banks are increasingly closing branches across Britain's high streets, with 300 sites closing already in 2014 1, TSB is bucking the trend and vowing to invest in its branch network as it brings local banking to more people in their local communities.
TSB has today revealed that it is currently looking at potential sites to open new branches with the first brand new branch to open its doors in 2015. With up to 30 potential new branches in the pipeline, the new branches will be in locations targeted to increase the proportion of people within two miles of a TSB branch - making it easier and more convenient for customers to visit their local branch.
TSB believes branches remain a cornerstone of British banking, with data showing people want to visit branches when they have important financial decisions to make - almost nine in 10 (88%) bank accounts and over four in five (85%) mortgage applications take place face-to-face 2. This clearly shows when life's big decisions are concerned, such as buying a new home, nothing beats the personal touch.
However, whilst branches remain a key part of TSB's future, the increasing availability and sophistication of new technology is offering consumers new and alternative ways to bank; 600,000 customers regularly use TSB's mobile banking service.
On 9 September last year, TSB branches across the Britain opened with new signage bringing the TSB brand back to the high street. Since then, 24 branches have undergone a major refurbishment with a further 231 branches due to be refreshed by the end of this year.
The Bank has also installed 80 new, free to use ATMs across its network from Aberdeen to the Isle of Wight and Swansea to Norwich. TSB now has 831 ATMs, every one of which will have either been replaced or upgraded by the end of 2015, with 296 ATMs being completely replaced.
The demand for digital technology continues to increase as statistics show 3over three quarters (77%) of people use online or mobile banking at least once a month with people transferring £6.4 billion a week. TSB has recently re-launched its website www.tsb.co.uk sporting a more modern look and a new branch locator facility.
The Bank also continues to develop its online and mobile services in response to the strong consumer need for new technology to compliment branches enabling customers to transact in the way that suits them best. Since the start of the year an additional 100,000 customers have started using TSB mobile banking service with people adopting innovative services such as the PayM mobile payments scheme.
TSB is reviewing the opening hours of its entire network of 631 branches. Instead of a 'one size fits all' policy deployed by some banks, TSB is using the local knowledge of TSB Partners working in the branches to ensure the new opening hours reflect the needs of the local communities in which they are based - whether that be a rural village or a city centre. Almost three fifths (57%) of the network already opens on a Saturday or later in the evenings and more branches are looking to adapt their opening hours to better serve their customers.
Each branch will also benefit from a new local telephone number so customers can discuss their branch-related enquiries with TSB colleagues they are familiar with. This builds on TSB abolishing all costly 0845 numbers and replacing them with local rate numbers. The local numbers are currently being piloted in the North of England* with a view to rolling out across Britain by the end of the year.
"TSB is a different sort of bank, one that firmly believes in providing its customers the flexibility to let them bank in a way which suits them which is why we're continuing to invest in our 'bricks and clicks' model. We're bucking the trend and opening instead of closing branches because we believe it's the right thing to do for our customers. Whether our customers want face-to-face support for life's bigger decisions such as buying a home, or just to manage their money whilst on the move, we'll make sure they can do it how they want, when they want.
"Our local banking model is aimed purely at fuelling local economies and we know that the TSB Partners that work in our branches play an important part in the communities they serve. This is why we're looking at the locations of our branches and reviewing our opening hours so we can be there for our customers when they need us most. We're excited about bringing more new branches to Britain combined with an enhanced digital service offering more people the opportunity to benefit from Britain's challenger bank.
"TSB is a high street bank, not a Wall Street bank. Our straightforward and simple approach to banking is designed to deliver the kind of bank people tell us they want."
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Notes to editors
1The Campaign for Community Banking Services has calculated that in the first six months of 2014, 300 branches have been shut - more than for the whole of 2013. Campaign for Community Banking, Bank Branch Closures at New High in 2014 (2014) http://www.communitybanking.org.uk/press18-06-14.htm
2 Data based on account openings from January to February 2014
3 According to a YouGov poll in June 2014, 77% of customers use online or mobile banking at least once a month and recent figures from the British Bankers' Association have shown that customers transfer £6.4 billion a week using internet banking - a 10% increase from £5.8 billion a week last year. SOURCE: British Bankers' Association, The Way We Bank Now: It's in your hands (2014), p.5,https://www.bba.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/BBA_TWWBN_WEB.pdf
*TSB is piloting local branch numbers in 58 branches in the North around Liverpool, the North West and Cumbria, South and West Yorkshire, Staffordshire and North Wales.