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Banks to offer customers more help when branches shut

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

High street banks are to give customers more support when local branches close.

Banks will inform local communities as soon as possible if a branch is closing, have more specially trained staff available and work more proactively with elderly and vulnerable customers.

The British Bankers Association’s (BBA) decision to update the Access to Banking Protocol is in response to an independent review by Professor Russel Griggs.

Griggs said banks have used the right “robustness and rigour” when deciding to shut branches but could “significantly improve a number of areas”.

Barclays, Clydesdale Bank, Co-op Bank, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide, RBS, Santander and TSB have signed up to the protocol.

Anthony Browne, BBA CEO, said: “Banks are very aware no customer or business should be left behind and branches play an important role in the life of local communities. That is why decisions to close branches are never taken lightly.

“It’s encouraging the review found banks have tried hard to use the protocol correctly and approach any closure with the right culture and the correct amount of ‘robustness and rigour’. There is no doubt they will continue to do so.

“However, there is always room for improvement. In accepting Prof Griggs’ recommendations, the sector has moved swiftly to agree to update the guidelines and in doing so offer even greater support and advice to customers.”