A CHESTER city centre bank branch is to close as part of a series of cuts nationally.

The Co-operative Bank announced on Tuesday, August 25 that the branch on Northgate Street, Chester, located near Chester Cathedral, is one of 18 to close across the UK.

It comes as the bank announced it will be losing 350 jobs across the 18 branches, in middle management positions and head office roles.

The Bank has spoken to affected colleagues and is currently consulting with colleagues and its recognised trades union on the proposals.

It added where possible, the bank will look to redeploy colleagues into alternative posts.

Co-operative Bank chief executive Andrew Bester said: “Our people have shown great dedication and commitment to our customers over the past few months, so we are very sorry to announce this news today.

"Unfortunately, we’re not immune to the impact of recent events, with the historically low base rate affecting the income of all banks and a period of prolonged economic uncertainty ahead, which means it’s important we reduce costs and have the right-sized operating model in place for the future.

“At the same time, we are responding to the continuing shift of more and more customers choosing to bank online, with lower levels of transactions in branches, a trend which has been increasing for some time, across the banking sector and more broadly.

"The bank is in a resilient position given the significant progress we’ve made in recent years, and our focus is on maintaining this as we continue to support our customers through the crisis.

"We will do all we can to support colleagues through the process with fairness and respect.”

The planned branch closures, which are expected to be completed by December 1, have been selected following careful analysis of individual branch footfall over a 12-month period throughout 2019 prior to the start of lockdown.

The bank added it is writing to affected customers to provide information about the alternative options available to them, including Post Office counter services, telephone, online and mobile banking.