By Mauro Orru

Santander Consumer Bank is closing its branches in Italy as customers increasingly turn to digital for their daily banking operations.

A spokesperson for Santander Consumer Bank Italy, part of Spain's Banco Santander, said Wednesday that the business would soon start talks with labor unions to minimize compulsory redundancies wherever possible.

"As customers increasingly opt to use digital channels over branches, Santander Consumer Bank Italy has decided to close a number of branches and strengthen its digitization in order to continue to offer the best value for customers," the spokesperson said.

Italy's Fisac, Cgil and Fabi labor unions said in a statement that a first meeting with the bank would take place Thursday to discuss the plans.

A person familiar with the matter said the branch closures are expected to affect around 100 jobs in a workforce of just over 700 people at the bank.

Write to Mauro Orru at; @MauroOrru94

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-13-23 1240ET