Permanent TSB bosses quash
local branch closure fears

Permanent TSB has no plans to close any of its branches in Longford and the wider midlands region, the bank announced this week.

Permanent TSB has no plans to close any of its branches in Longford and the wider midlands region, the bank announced this week.

A spokesman for the State controlled institution ruled out talk of future downsizing plans, asserting it had “no plans” to offset such a move.

The pledge comes on the back of last week’s announcement surrounding the closure of 16 branches and the anticipated loss of up to 250 jobs.

When the measures take effect over the coming months, it will mean over 780 Permanent TSB bankers will have been made redundant in the past two years.

In 2010, 187 people lost their jobs, followed by 345 last year, leaving around 1,800 staff currently on its payroll.

Like some of its mainstream competitors, the State took control of Permanent TSB last year when it pumped €2.7bn into it. A further €1.3bn of public monies was set aside earlier this year with its insurance division Irish Life also benefitting.

Staff, who were briefed on the restructuring plans in recent days, were told the changes formed part of a concerted strategy to create a smaller, more profitable bank by 2016.

Chief executive Jeremy Masding said the changes were necessary in order to secure a viable future for the bank while at the same time negating losses from its pressurised loan book.

“Our objective is to carve out a viable, efficient, competitive and customer focused permanent TSB bank from within the current group,” he said.

“We believe that such a bank can make a positive contribution to the Irish banking landscape and is the best way of protecting the taxpayer’s investment in our business. We face significant challenges; however we are very confident about our future prospects once this restructuring plan has been implemented.”

The group, meanwhile, also announced plans to reorganise its head office as it looks at ways of reducing operating costs by 10 per cent.

In a further announcement, customers were likewise informed of the bank’s intention to re-brand itself into three seperate business units: Permanent TSB, an asset management unit and its UK mortgage loan business, CHL.