Hundreds of jobs at risk as Yorkshire Building Society calls time on 13 branches

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Yorkshire Building Society is to close 13 branches as part of an efficiency drive that could see it axe 250 jobs.

The group said it wanted to ensure it had a "more even spread of branches and agencies across the country", with plans to close operations in areas where there is a "duplication" of its services.

The bulk of the job losses are expected to come from its office in Cheltenham, with 200 staff expected to be axed as work is transferred to Bradford and Peterborough as part of a phased closure over the next two years.

In East Anglia, where three branches are flagged for closure, around 10 jobs could be lost, though that number could rise if a further two branches that are currently up for review are also shuttered.

A further 10 jobs may be lost in London, another five in the North West, while closures in Yorkshire may result in around 20 staff being made redundant.

If the proposals go ahead, around nine branches will be lost by March with a further three to five locations closed by May 2018, a spokeswoman for the group confirmed.

But alongside its branch closure plans, Yorkshire Building Society is looking to boost the number of so-called agencies that it runs across the country - which would see the same services offered in new locations.

Agency operations will see customers access Yorkshire services at small operations located in estate agency offices, solicitors or independent financial advisers.

The group assured that it plans to retain a presence in all of its towns and cities until at least 2020, and with planned agency openings, will have around 300 outlets across the UK.

Earlier this year, more than 400 jobs were put under threat at Yorkshire after it announced plans to shut 48 branches and axe the Norwich & Peterborough brand from the high street.

Of that number, 175 have already been made redundant and 140 are still at risk.