Dutch bank ING has decided to close a quarter of its bank branches in its home market in response to the rising Covid-19 pandemic, Reuters has reported.
The bank is accelerating the branch closures in the country as its customers move to digital banking channels during the pandemic.
ING is one of the largest banks in the Netherlands with 170 branches, of which, it has decided to shutter 42 branches, the report added.
These branch closures will affect almost 150 employees who will be offered other jobs within the bank.
ING Netherlands director Ruud Dusschoten said: “We already had a plan, but the corona-crisis accelerated it.”
According to Reuters, ING already shuttered many of its branches temporarily during the partial lockdown from March to June 2020 in the Netherlands.
Dusschoten said that reopening these branches did not attract many customers.
He added: “We have seen the use of our digital banking options increase even further. The need for offices keeps getting less.”
Recent branch closures
Earlier this month, ASB Bank closed nine branches in New Zealand.
In May, Japan’s MUFG decided to permanently shutter 40% of its branches and Singapore’s OCBC considered branch closures as Covid-19 pushed digital banking adoption.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) also temporarily shuttered 114 of its branches across the country and redeployed its staff to call centres and online operations.