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BSA criticises bank branch closures

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23/02/2006

Around one in five bank and former building society branches have closed since 1995, compared to only one in 20 branches for the top ten mutual building societies.

The research, published by the Building Societies Association (BSA), showed ‘multicultural metropolitan areas’ were most likely to see branch closures. It said, despite many banks claiming to have put large-scale branch closure programmes on hold, there have been continuing ‘small-scale, phased closure programmes’.

Adrian Coles, director-general of the BSA, said: “Over the next few weeks we will see banks once again announcing record profits. This report is a timely reminder that the pressure to squeeze every last drop of profit has meant abandoning less lucrative customers and closing one in five of their branches.

“Building societies value their branches and their members. As mutuals, they are more likely to keep their branches open and will take into account the impact a closure would have on the local community, rather than purely the bottom line, when assessing branch performance.”

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