You are here: Home - Saving & Banking - News -

More than 3,000 bank branches closed in last five years

Written by:
More than 3,000 bank branches have closed since 2015 and hundreds more have slashed their opening hours, according to research.

Consumer group Which? found that 3,303 branches shut their doors between January 2015 and August 2019 – more than a third of the entire branch network.

Overall, the number of branches fell from 9,803 to 6,549 over the period.

The closures were primarily driven by the ‘big four’ banks, with RBS Group cutting its network by 56 per cent.

RBS closed a staggering 412 branches across the UK, while Natwest closed the most branches overall – a whopping 638.

Ulster Bank, also part of the same banking group, closed 35 branches in Northern Ireland.

HSBC reduced its network by 442, and Barclays closed at least a third of its branches with 481 closures.

Lloyds Bank closed 404 branches, Bank of Scotland shut 95 branches and Halifax closed 70 branches.

In contrast, Nationwide retained an impressive 96 percent of its branches, following a pledge to keep its last branch in any town or city open until at least May 2021.

Of all the UK’s bank branches that remain open, 298 are now operating with reduced opening hours of four days a week or less.

Eleven branches – all in Scotland – open for just one day a week, while 45 branches nationwide open for just two days a week.

The worst-hit areas were typically rural. For example, there is now not a single bank branch in the entire Wentworth and Dearne constituency in Yorkshire, which has a population of 98,000.

Overall, Wales was the hardest hit region, losing 239 branches. This was followed by the North West, which lost 424 branches.

Jenny Ross, Which? Money Editor, said: “Banks are closing their branches at an alarming rate, which risks shutting many people out of vital financial services and affecting their ability to access their own cash.

“Bank branches play a crucial role within communities, serving consumers and businesses alike. The industry must ensure no-one is left behind by the digital transition and that when banks shut their doors they don’t shut their customers out of important banking services.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

The savings accounts paying the most interest

If one of your jobs this month is to get your finances in order, moving your savings to a higher paying deal i...

Coronavirus and your finances: what help can you get?

News and updates on everything to do with coronavirus and your personal finances.

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

If you’ve been ‘furloughed’ by your company, here’s what it means…

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week

  • What are some things to be aware of in choosing property to fund your retirement? Find out from our pension special…
  • RT @Defaqto: With many nervous about taking an overseas trip, Brits are booking up holidays closer to home. But should you buy travel insur…
  • RT @Defaqto: With many nervous about taking an overseas trip, Brits are booking up holidays closer to home. But should you buy travel insur…

Read previous post:
Rise in cases of mortgage application fraud

Increasing numbers of people are lying on their mortgage application in an attempt to boost their chances of getting a...