Over 6,000 UK bank branches closed in 9 years

Wednesday 22nd May 2024 06:51 EDT

Over the past nine years, the number of UK bank branches permanently closing their doors will surpass 6,000. 

By year-end, the rate of closures may leave 33 parliamentary constituencies, including two in London, without a single branch. This tally is being released by the consumer group Which? as it aims to highlight the "avalanche" of closures and the "disastrous" impact they can have on local communities as an election issue.

Since 2015, when Which? began tracking, eight more Barclays branches are set to close, bringing the total to 6,005. 

Barclays leads in branch closures, accounting for approximately 20% (1,216) of the total closures. While the rate of closures peaked in 2017, it appeared to slow until recently, characterised by a "troubling surge," according to the consumer group. This surge comes amid government plans announced in 2020 to enact laws safeguarding access to cash, potentially complicating branch closures if alternative provisions are inadequate.

Fresh rounds of closures are being announced, with banks justifying the reduction of their networks on the grounds that customers are spurning traditional counter services in favour of banking online and via mobile phones.

For the remainder of 2024, 200 closures are already scheduled, including 50 from NatWest, 43 from Lloyds, 28 from TSB, 26 from Halifax, 20 from Royal Bank of Scotland, and 14 from Barclays.

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