The research has found that visiting a local branch is not an option for 18.7 million people according to a new survey into the impact of branch closures for the Daily Express‘ Save Our High Street Bank campaign.
The study by Newcastle Building Society found that for 28 percent of the 67.8 million population personal banking in a branch is no longer feasible.
Incredibly, a third of those surveyed said a bank or building society had shut down in their local area within the last 12 months.
A further 38 percent admit they are riddled with worry that their local branch will close this year.
The Daily Express is crusading to save Britain’s high street banks from extinction after experts warned all branches will be shut within four years.
An astonishing 5,391 bank and building society branches closed their doors between January 2015 and January 2023, at a rate of around 54 each month.
Industry executives overwhelmingly believe face-to-face banking will have completely vanished by 2027, analysts found.
A survey of global banking executives carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and banking platform Temenos revealed that 70 percent believe the branch-based model will be dead by 2027.
In a further blow NatWest yesterday announced the closure of 23 more branches across the country, adding to dozens they have already shut down so far this month.
The bank said it had slated 21 sites in England to shut down and two in Wales including Frome, Bootle, Stroud and Blackpool.
This comes days after Lloyds Banking Group said it would close 40 Halifax and Lloyds sites in England and Wales, blaming a 60% drop in footfall over the past five years.
MPs and peers have backed our campaign describing over-the-counter services as an “essential lifeline” and accusing banks of deserting the communities that need them most.
Older people who are reticent to use online banking are most adversely affected, but as the Daily Express reveals today – the knock-on effect for surrounding businesses is equally devastating.
Lord Foulkes, the co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Age and Older People, said “urgent action” is needed to “stop this and make banks return to serving the public rather than maximizing their profits”.
He said: “The Government needs to take urgent action to stop this and make banks return to serving the public rather than maximizing their profits.”
In a move to help communities Newcastle Building Society has launched a pilot project “to restore access to cash on high streets and town centres”, offering hope to millions of people and small businesses across the UK.
They have collaborated with financial tech firm OneBanx, to create multi-bank kiosks which they have based in two of its branches in Gosforth, Newcastle, and Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. The kiosks use Open Banking technology to allow small businesses and personal customers of any bank in the Open Banking network to withdraw and deposit cash from their accounts, and are the first to be located within the branch of a financial services provider anywhere in the world.
Staff are on hand to help people with the technology and allow individuals and businesses to complete basic banking tasks.
Stuart Miller, the chief customer officer at Newcastle Building Society, said: “Members tell us every day that they value having access to local financial services, but this research reveals the scale of the impact caused by branch closures across the UK. With the pressure on living costs, I can’t think of a more important time for people to be able to pop into their local branch for a chat about money.
“The use of cash has increased significantly recently as people look for ways to manage their household budgets, so we believe it’s more important than ever to offer people the opportunity to transact locally and access cash.”
“We’re absolutely committed to our branch network and finding new ways to provide financial services in our region; the OneBanx kiosk pilot supports this by providing people with convenient access to their bank.”