As continue to migrate to digital channels, Belgium’s branch is closing eight of its in Flanders and making another 66 employee-free.

By the end of the year, 66 branches in the Dutch-speaking region will become , with customers instead carrying out everyday transactions such as cash withdrawals and money transfers at self-service terminals.

However, KBC is also doubling the number of full service branches that are open for longer hours, to 145. Here, customers can receive specialist advice all day on weekdays and on Saturday mornings. Another 268 smaller branches will offer routine savings and investment advice, with eight sites being shut down.

All affected employees will be transferred to neighbouring branches.

KBC says that the popularity of its online and services means that its is “only logical” to regularly evaluate its network.

Says the bank: “In reality, customers are not going as often to bank branches, but when they do, KBC wants to ensure that they receive the best possible service. Therefore, it has been looking in recent years for solutions that would enable it to cater more flexibly for its customers. The role of the brick-and mortar branch has been reaffirmed, but will be slightly different than before.”

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