Tsb will shut more than a third of its bank branches next year, becoming the latest of several european lenders to speed up closure plans in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bank, owned by spanish lender sabadell, will close 164 branches with the loss of 969 jobs. around 120 new jobs will be created elsewhere in the business, leading to a net reduction of 849 roles about 12 per cent of its total workforce.

Tsb had already planned to make further cuts to its network as part of a restructuring announced last november, but the pace of the transformation has been accelerated since coronavirus encouraged customers to turn to digital banking services.

Debbie crosbie, tsb chief executive, said: closing any of our branches is never an easy decision, but our customers are banking differently with a marked shift to digital banking. we are reshaping our business to transform the customer experience and set us up for the future.

An average of 4,000 customers per day have signed up to tsbs mobile banking app in recent months, compared with about 1,200 per day before the pandemic hit, and the bank said it would invest further in improved digital services.

Tsb historically had more than double the number of branches per customer than its high street rivals because of the way it was spun out of lloyds banking group after the financial crisis.

Robin bulloch, tsb customer banking director, said: we are working to ensure the transition towards digital which is being seen right across the economy is handled sensitively and pragmatically for our colleagues and customers. were taking steps to support vulnerable customers and those in rural locations.

As well as encouraging more customers to move online, the pandemic has also put additional pressure on banks across europe to cut costs to help offset the impact of rising default rates and record-low interest rates that will weigh on revenue.

Tsbs announcement on wednesday follows a similar move by british rival the co-operative bank in august. elsewhere in europe, deutsche bank is planning to cut a fifth of its network, while swedens handelsbanken will close almost half of its domestic branches.

Tsb said the vast majority of the job losses announced on wednesday would be voluntary redundancies. accord, the trade union, said it will work closely with the bank as it continues its transformation to protect and promote members interests.