UK-based retail and commercial bank TSB is planning to axe around 250 jobs and shut down around three dozen bank branches as part of a major revamp of its operational structure.

The British lender informed employees that the job cuts will affect its fraud operations and central operations, and will close 36 physical locations, leaving 175 branches in its network.

In February this year, TSB announced 300 job cuts as part of a wider restructuring plan and has reserved £29m for a cost-saving programme to reduce its cost-to-income ratio.

TSB said that not enough customers were using the branch locations, where nearly 96% of all its transactions are now being completed outside of a branch.

Through job cuts and branch closures, the bank aims to simplify operations, address changing customer needs and remain competitive.

TSB said: “These decisions are never taken lightly. Our priority is to consult with impacted colleagues to ensure they’re fully supported, maximising redeployment opportunities where we can.”

Unite the Union (Unite), a British and Irish trade union that represents the employees at TSB, called the company’s decision to axe 250 roles a ‘grave mistake’.

The union aims plans to initiate fresh negotiations with TSB about ways of further reducing job losses and it will be fully supporting its members affected by the announcement.

Unite regional officer Andy Case said: “Through extensive negotiations, Unite has been able to substantially reduce the number of jobs at risk. However, that isn’t sufficient, the union is pressing TSB to urgently reconsider its damaging bank branch closures plan.

“At a time when customers are increasingly concerned about financial fraud and often need support from a local bank branch, this is the wrong course of action.

“TSB customers will rightly be concerned by today’s news and they will undoubtedly suffer a downgrade in service from these job cuts.”

TSB is owned by Spanish lender Banco Sabadell, which has rejected a €12bn merger proposal from its rival BBVA, which would raise questions over TSB’s future ownership.