As a result of consumers’ sudden shift to online and mobile banking, a record high of 60 banks are closing in the UK per month, leaving people with no access to bank assistance.
Consumer’s association Which? found out that about 2,868 bank branches have closed its doors since 2015. This number is already causing alarm to the financial sector as physical banks are decreasing in number. The record with the highest bank closure was in 2017 with 879 banks.
The Independent UK reports that cash machines will likely be removed due to the ‘changes in the way banks pay operators.’ When this happens, communities will have no easy access to cash, leaving everyone in reliance on credit cards.
About 2.7 million consumers will be affected when cash machines will be pulled out.
According to Which? money expert Gareth Shaw, “Bank branch closures are happening at an alarming rate, stripping consumers and communities of access to the financial services they need.” He added that while the decision is commercial, financial institutions must also consider the needs of the community and the people that they serve.
Meanwhile, because the number of people using mobile banking is increasing, experts cannot blame the physical banks to vanish when no consumers visit the branches.
Earlier this year, Santander Bank is slashing its branch network by closing 140 branches. This move made a huge impact as more than 1,270 people lose their jobs. According to an article published by BBC, the decline of the branch transactions of about 23 per cent is a major drive for the closure of these banks.
In the UK, the NatWest banks have the biggest number of branches closed, approximately 638 by the end of 2018. This is followed by HSBC with 440, Lloyds Bank with 366 and RBS with 350.