Norwegian lender Sparebanken Vest has announced plans to reduce its branch network and axe 100 jobs as more customers switch to online banking alternatives.

By the end of 2016, the bank will reduce its total number of branches to 35 from 44, as well as eliminate 100 full-time roles, Sparebanken Vest said in its earnings statement.

"This will underpin the bank’s financial targets, which are a return on equity of more than 11% and a Core Tier 1 capital ratio of 14.5% at the end of 2016, and will help to ensure a flat cost development in the coming year," the bank said.

The lender also plans to appoint new expertise in some parts of the company.

In addition, the bank said that it intends to increase its focus on innovation and digitisation, and make changes to its organisation and distribution system to adapt to new customer preferences.

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