By Kristy Dorsey

TSB says it has created 100 new specialist roles with the opening of a technology centre at its Edinburgh headquarters.

The retail banking group, which is cutting its UK branch network by nearly half, said the centre has been created as part of a £120 million investment to transform its digital channels. The programme is part of a three-year strategic plan unveiled by the TSB chief executive Debbie Crosbie in November 2019.

The centre in George Street houses technical specialists, data engineers, analysts and other IT experts. The team has already built the digital infrastructure to deliver the Government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme, and assisted in setting up the bank’s remote working operation that was in use during the pandemic.

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Ms Crosbie said the launch of the facility builds on the bank’s “long history in Scotland”.

“I’m delighted with the impact our technology centre is already having on the digital banking services we offer TSB customers,” she said. “Customer demand for new digital services will only increase and this new investment will ensure we are well-placed to meet that demand.”

Citing “significant” changes in customer behaviour during the pandemic, TSB has this year been pressing ahead with the closure of 73 of its Scottish branches, putting some 300 jobs at risk. Across the UK, the bank is due to shut 164 branches during 2021.

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Including the 82 UK branches closed in 2020, TSB has reduced the size of its network by nearly half.

Speaking at the launch, Scottish Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “I’m delighted to visit TSB’s new technology centre at Henry Duncan House in Edinburgh, which will develop and deliver innovative services for five million customers across the UK.

“The recruitment of 100 staff and TSB’s commitment to Edinburgh further underlines Scotland’s position as a world-leading financial services, data and technology hub.”