Bank network shrinks from 267 branches in three months: Can your local branch be in a chopping block?
- Between April and June this year, the bank branch network shrunk by 4.55 per cent
- Major high street banks have cut 1,000 branches since the epidemic began
- Lloyds, Halifax and Virgin Money are set to close impending branches
Britain’s bank branch network shrank by 4.55 per cent earlier this year as banks across the UK continued to close their doors.
Between April and June, 267 branches were closed, according to FCA data, leaving only 5,599.
It’s no secret that bank branches are disappearing on record in recent years on Britain’s streets.
Major high street banks have cut 1,000 branches since the epidemic forced the first lockdown in March 2020.
Since January 2015, bank branches have been closing at a rate of 50 per month, according to the lobby group., But the epidemic has exacerbated the trend.
Major high street banks say they have cut 1,000 branches since the epidemic forced the first lockdown in March 2020, with many more scheduled for the coming months.
Set to continue closing?
The disappearance of bank branches is a concern for some, with fewer tech professionals, older customers and small businesses watching with increasing concern that their local branch may be next.
Currently 60 per cent of the population live within 2 km of a bank branch but 12.5 per cent live within one to 5 km, according to FCA data.
“For consumers who do not have Internet access that prefers face-to-face banking, options are diminishing and opening times are more restricted,” said Hager.
“There are initiatives like mobile banking vans and banks sharing branches, and some of these are probably the least expensive alternatives.
I think it is inevitable that branch networks will continue to shrink as online technology becomes the norm for more and more consumers – although it may be a bit more comfortable for older people who don’t understand or don’t trust the Internet.
In March, Santander announced plans to close 111 branches by the end of August 2021 in response to ongoing customer changes to mobile and online banking.
According to new research from Analytics Leader SAS, one in four people say they prefer local branches to a digital-only experience.
It found that more than one in eight banking customers started using a digital service or mobile app for the first time during the epidemic.
Looking ahead, there is little evidence to suggest that the online banking trend is slowing down.
According to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit for financial software company Temenos, two-thirds of the industry’s top executives expect branch-based lenders to be ‘dead’ in the next five years.
SAS’s research shows that of those who now use digital banking services, nearly one in five expect to use a digital service or mobile app in addition to personal visits, with about a quarter aiming to permanently replace digital for personal visits. .
Andrew Hager, founder of MoneyComms, said: ‘I think banks are focusing on the viability of their post-Kovid branch networks, with more customers trading online than through their doors.
‘Banks will now look at branches that are less viable due to less footfall, especially if they have another outlet close by.’
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