Two major British banks have announced they are closing another 80 branches this year in another blow to Britain’s beleaguered High Street which has seen over 500 banks shuttered in a decade.
Lloyds Banking Group and Natwest today announced the closures as a raft of other financial institutions shut their doors on local sites.
At Lloyds Banking Group, affected brands include Halifax, Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland.
Lloyds announced that they would be closing 26 more branches, another nine Halifax branches and two Bank of Scotland sites.
Natwest have said they will close 40 branches with its sister bank Royal Bank of Scotland announcing five closures.
It comes after Barclay’s branch closure announcement earlier this week that they intended to shut 14 more across England and Wales in June, in addition to the 55 branches the bank already planned to shut this year, meaning at least 69 Barclays branches will shut in 2023.
HSBC is also planning to close 114 branches across the UK this year.
So, what do these closures mean for your local bank and how will they affect you?
NatWest is set to close 106 branches across the UK this year
NatWest has announced it will shut 40 more banks across Britain in 2023 in addition to the 66 it announced earlier this year – meaning 106 of its banks will be closed.
NatWest said average counter transactions had shrunk by nearly two-thirds in just two years, between January 2019 and January this year.
It saw a 38 per cent rise in customers using mobile apps during the same period.
But the company stressed it has a helpline to guide customers through setting up online and mobile services, with a shorter waiting time for the over-60s.
The new NatWest branches that will be closing are:
- NatWest Ashton-in-Makerfield June 27
- NatWest Rothwell June 28
- NatWest Tilehurst June 28
- NatWest Bletchley June 29
- NatWest Bristol July 4
- NatWest Croydon July 4
- NatWest Deal July 5
- NatWest London July 5
- NatWest Romford July 6
- NatWest Heald Green July 11
- NatWest Hull July 11
- NatWest Isleworth July 12
- NatWest Knowle July 12
- NatWest London July 13
- NatWest New Malden July 13
- NatWest Cardiff July 18
- NatWest Croydon July 19
- NatWest Street July 19
- NatWest Aldridge July 20
- NatWest Whitley Bay July 20
- NatWest Dorking July 25
- NatWest March July 25
- NatWest Peterborough July 26
- NatWest Tamworth July 27
- NatWest Blandford Forum August 1
- NatWest Wymondham August 1
- NatWest Knutsford August 2
- NatWest Runcorn August 2
- NatWest Stony Stratford August 3
- NatWest Bournemouth August 8
- NatWest Westbury on Trym August 8
- NatWest Brighouse August 9
- NatWest Fakenham August 10
- NatWest Ryde August 10
- NatWest Hertford August 15
- NatWest Brighton August 16
- NatWest Christchurch August 16
- NatWest London August 17
- NatWest Fulwood August 17
- NatWest Stratford November 30
Lloyds and Halifax
Lloyds will close 48 branches across the UK this year leaving it with 667 nationwide
Halifax meanwhile is closing 27 branches in total this year
Lloyds Banking Group will close a further 26 more Lloyds branches and nine more Halifax ones bringing the total closing off each
It had previously said it close 18 Halifax sites and 22 Lloyds branches between April and June this year.
The new closures will bring the total number of Lloyds outlets in the country to 667, and Halifax branches to 509.
The group said the branches selected for closure have seen visits drop by about 60 per cent on average in the last five years.
A Lloyds Banking Group spokesman said: ‘Branches play an important part in our strategy but we need to have them in the right places, where they are well used.
‘We’ll continue to invest in branches that are being used regularly, alongside our online, mobile app and telephone services.’
The new Lloyds branches that will be closing are:
- Lloyds Benton July 17
- Lloyds Peterborough July 17
- Lloyds Fulwell July 20
- Lloyds Chapeltown July 24
- Lloyds London July 25
- Lloyds Carlton July 26
- Lloyds Cambridge July 31
- Lloyds Shepton Mallet July 31
- Lloyds Hazel Grove August 1
- Lloyds London August 1
- Lloyds London August 2
- Lloyds Tumble August 3
- Lloyds Eckington August 9
- Lloyds New Mills August 17
- Lloyds Corringham August 21
- Lloyds Wotton-Under-Edge August 23
- Lloyds Downham Market September 4
- Lloyds Shirebrook September 4
- Lloyds Sidmouth September 5
- Lloyds Porthcawl September 7
- Lloyds Withernsea September 12
- Lloyds Wellington September 13
- Lloyds Newcastle upon Tyne September 14
- Lloyds East Horsley September 18
- Lloyds Ystradgynlais September 19
- Lloyds Doncaster September 20
The new Halifax branches that will be closing are:
- Halifax Catford July 18
- Halifax Bristol July 19
- Halifax Tadcaster August 22
- Halifax Denton August 30
- Halifax Otley September 5
- Halifax Newton Aycliffe September 6
- Halifax Porthcawl September 7
- Halifax Newmarket September 11
- Halifax Mirfield September 21
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Other bank closures announced this year, including Barclays, Santander and HSBC
The decision by Barclays to close at least 69 branches before the end of 2023 comes after the bank had already shut 67 per cent of their sites in the UK since 2015.
The move from Barclays means their customers will now need to rely on pop-up sites and ‘banking pods’ if they require in-person support.
These ‘banking pods’ are semi-permanent sites which can be moved across different towns and cities to satisfy demand.
Currently, Barclays has 200 pop-up sites and ten ‘banking pods’, with plans to add another 70 pop-up sites in the near future.
In addition, the bank runs an educational and support van service to provide financial advice to their customers.
A Barclays spokesperson said: ‘As visits to branches continue to fall, we need to adapt to provide the best service for all our customers.
‘Where there is no longer enough demand to support a branch, we maintain an in-person presence though our Barclays Local network, live in over 200 locations, based in libraries, town halls, mobile vans and our new banking pods.
‘We also support access to cash with our cashback without purchase service, 24-hour deposit-taking ATMs and by working alongside the Post Office and Cash Access UK.’
Barclays will close a further 14 bank branches across England and Wales in June, meaning at least 69 branches will close in 2023
Santander has already announced the closure of five branches in 2023.
Santander has already announced the closure of five branches in 2023.
The company’s chairman William Vereker, 62, is listed at a £17million mansion which is seven minutes from a central London branch.
This is not among the other 310 branches the bank has slated for closure.
HSBC is planning to close 114 branches across the UK in 2023
It was revealed by MailOnline in December that HSBC was planning to close 114 branches across the UK in 2023.
HSBC previously said, after announcing the closure of more than 100 branches, that around 100 staff could leave the bank, but stressed that it hopes to redeploy all its employees at affected branches to other roles within HSBC, either to other branches or to a different position.
It said it planned to speak to all staff in the branches due to close but estimated that around 100 employees could leave.
It is also developing new ‘banking hubs’ and community pop-ups in its shake-up of the network and plugging more investment into digital banking services.
Furthermore, since 2021 it has provided 1,500 free Samsung tablet devices to customers selected by local branches who cannot afford or who have no access to equipment to help with digital banking, HSBC said.
Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s managing director of distribution, said: ‘People are changing the way they bank and footfall in many branches is at an all-time low, with no signs of it returning.
‘Banking remotely is becoming the norm for the vast majority of us’.
The Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland have announced seven closures between them.
The Royal Bank of Scotland branch closures are:
- RBS Tranent July 27
- RBS Johnstone August 15
The Bank of Scotland closures are:
- BoS Bearsden July 25
- BoS Edinburgh July 26
- BoS Pollokshields July 27
- BoS Cults August 14
- Royal Bank of Scotland:
Closure of bank branches exacerbates high street struggles across the UK
The move from Barclays follows that of other banks, which have closed down high street branches in swathes.
Banks say they are doing this as customers move to online and telephone banking, however, closures also dramatically cut their costs.
The enormous impact of the pandemic on the high street has led to shops and banks closing in their thousands.
Figures from 2021 show there were just 8,810 banks in cities, towns and villages across the UK in 2012 – down from 13,300 in 2012 and 20,583 in 1988.
The drive in bank closures has also been driven by a fall in cash-related transactions, with contactless payments becoming the preferred method for many.
Earlier this year, we revealed that an average of 54 banks per month have closed on UK high streets since 2015.
This has forced residents in certain areas of the UK to travel up to 15 miles to get to their closest branch.
Meanwhile, bosses at HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide, Barclays, Virgin Money, TSB, Santander and Lloyds with a registered UK address were all revealed to live within 15 minutes of their local branch.
The closure of major branches in vast numbers makes banking more difficult for the vulnerable, elderly and anyone needing face-to-face advice.
Whilst banks will point to an increase in pop-up sites to help customers, and the use of mobile apps and technology to make banking quicker, closing branches may only serve to ostracise and frustrate customers.
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