By the end of 2013, Britannia is set to become the latest well known brand to vanish from the high street. This follows other famous names such as Alliance & Leicester, Abbey and Bradford & Bingley.
Britannia merged with The Co-operative Bank in August 2009, after over 150 years of existence, although it has only been known as Britannia since 1975.
According to John Hughes, Managing Director – Retail Banking at the Co-operative Bank, the integration of the two businesses is now at the final stages and it has ‘’carried out a review of our branch network to ensure that it meets the needs of our customers and is operating in the most efficient and cost-effective way’’. The upshot of this review being the closure of 37 branches, although The Co-operative Bank insists that it is in locations where there are bank branches in close proximity to each other.
Mr Hughes goes on to add that ‘’we are also commencing work to unify our high street branch network under one single Co-operative Bank brand’’. In other words, Britannia will be consigned to the realms of nostalgic bank and building society names.
Whilst it is sad to see well known brands vanish, Co-operative Bank’s plan was to ‘’increase its presence in the UK banking market to offer more customers an alternative option to the big five banks’’, part of which would be the planned purchase of over 630 Lloyds Banking Group high street branches this year. We hope this plan is good news for us all in terms of increased choice and competition. However, we will wait with baited breath to see if this turns out to be the case.