The Clydesdale and Yorkshire banking group (CYBG) is shutting down a total of 79 branches, putting at risk jobs of 400 employees.

The Unite union said that the closures represent one third of the bank’s branch network, and is the largest ever closure plan by the banking group.

“The union has called on the bank to give a commitment to mitigate compulsory redundancies where possible and that they will reconsider closing any bank branches that are the last bank in a town,” Unite said.

CYBG said that the move is in response to increasing adoption of digital banking channels by customers and ongoing decline in branch usage. It said that it is “committing £350m over the next two years” and “continuing to invest in a more sustainable branch network” to support the transformation.

Yorkshire is set to close 39 branches and Clydesdale Bank is set to close 40 branches this year, with each business to lose 200 jobs.

The bank added that it will try to reassign affected staff within other branches or elsewhere in the bank, wherever possible.

Customer banking director Gavin Opperman said: "While the decision to close any branch is never an easy one, it is important that we, in line with other banks operating in the UK market, continue to respond to changes in the way customers bank with us."