UP to 100 jobs will go as banking firm Halifax closes 53 of its estate agent branches as a result of the housing market downturn.
But the group said the majority of staff employed in the affected branches would be transferred to similar roles in its banks.
It said the move followed a need to reshape the business in the current market conditions, following a significant decline in housing transactions in recent months.
The group declined to give the location of the affected branches as it is still in the process of contacting staff.
But it said following the changes Halifax Estate Agents would concentrate on its core markets in the Midlands and the North, where it has 151 branches.
It added that the smaller branch network would enable it to focus on towns where it has a strong market presence.
A total of about 550 staff will be affected by the move, but Halifax said about 450 of these people, many of whom are mortgage advisers, would be transferred to similar roles in its banking branches over the coming four months.
But up to 100 jobs will be cut, either through natural staff turnover or voluntary redundancy.
The group said the closure of the branches and the reductions in central support for these branches would generate cost savings.
Estate agents have been hit hard by the combination of falling house prices and the credit crunch, with transactions running at less than half of last year’s level.