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Office space cut open by UK banks as staff stay home

Britain’s Nationwide Building Society and Santander UK have become the latest banks to take an axe to their office space, cementing remote working arrangements put in place during the COVID-19 crisis.

Nationwide financial institution has told all its 13,000 office-based staff to work from anywhere in the country. The lender said on Thursday it will not renew the leases on three of its offices in its hometown of Swindon in the southwest of England but will retain its headquarters there along with other regional hubs.

Santander UK said it will close four offices in Bootle, Newcastle, London Portman House and Manchester Deansgate and switch the location of its headquarters from London to Milton Keynes. The bank also said it would close 111 branches by August, adding that a long term shift towards mobile and online banking accelerated by the pandemic had prompted the decision.

Around 5,000 staff based at closing office sites would be offered new working arrangements, combining working from home with access to local collaboration spaces.

Sabrijo Mpele.

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