POLL OF THE DAY: After 6,000 branches in the major shopping streets have disappeared, should banks be allowed to close even more branches? VOTE HERE

The number of bank branch closures in Britain has reached 6,000 in the past nine years, according to new research from Which?.

Britain’s high streets have been hit by an “avalanche” of closures, with millions of people in need of replacement banking services, the consumer watchdog has found.


Which? noted that the eight Barclays branch closures brought the number of bank closures to 6,005.

This figure represents 60 percent of the bank’s branch network since the consumer champion began tracking closures in 2015.

So far, Barclays has closed 1,216 branches in the past nine years, which was a blow to the financial institution’s customers.

However, the NatWest Group, which includes NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank, has closed the most locations – 1,360.

Do you have a money story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing money@gbnews.uk.

Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, has closed 1,146 branches. Which? found it.

The organization noted that around 200 closures are already planned by various banks and building societies for the remainder of 2024.

Around 24 branches will close next year, although more are expected to be confirmed in the coming months.

Despite the wave of closures, Nationwide Building Society is among major financial institutions that have pledged to remain in every community where it has a presence.

Branches of Barclays, Santander, NatWest and Nationwide Building Society

According to Which? Around 6,000 bank branches have closed in Britain since 2015.

FATHER

Despite millions of people switching to digital banking, consumer experts warn that many people are being left behind in the high street industry.

Sam Richardson, the deputy editor of Which? Money warned of the “seismic shift” taking place on the UK high street with the continued trend of branch closures.

He explained: “While some may barely notice the closure of their local branch as they seamlessly switch to online banking, the impact for others who rely on face-to-face services could be devastating.

“It is not about ending closures altogether, but about ensuring that essential banking services remain accessible to those who still rely on them.”

A Barclays spokesperson said: “As branch visits continue to decline, we must adapt to provide the best service to all our customers.

“Where demand does not support a branch, we maintain a personal presence through our Barclays Local network, live in over 350 locations, based in libraries, town halls, mobile vans and our bank branches.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:

NatWest bank branch sign, abandoned Barclays bank and Lloyds BankBank branch closures are continuing at an ‘alarming rate’, according to Which?GETTY

“We also support access to cash with our no-purchase cashback service, 24-hour ATMs and by working with the Post Office and Cash Access UK.”

A spokesperson for the Trade Association UK Finance said: “An increasing number of people are using phone, mobile and internet banking and fewer people are regularly visiting bank branches. Balancing this change in the way we bank means businesses must make difficult decisions about retaining their branches.

“The sector has invested heavily in alternative services, including thousands of post offices where people can do much of their daily banking. In addition, the sector is working to roll out shared banking hubs to bring different businesses together to support their customers.

“Significant investment is also being made to ensure access to cash, including free ATMs and no-purchase cashback. If you are concerned about your local bank branch closing, please contact them. They will help you find the best alternative for your needs.”

Stephen Noakes, retail director at Nationwide, said: “Branchs are valued for day-to-day banking, but also for key moments such as fraud issues and transferring large amounts of money.

“That is why we have promised that wherever we have a presence today, we will remain there until at least 2028.”

Should banks close more sites? Vote in our poll above and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *