Building on yesterday’s news, the consumer research organisation Which? just released a report with a whole bunch of stats on UK bank branch closures. Over 1,000 branches have closed in the last two years, with HSBC being most aggressive, shutting over 27% of their network.
A total of 1,046 branches – equivalent to 11% of the total UK bank branch network – closed between January 2015 and January 2017, with rural areas affected the worst. As the map below shows, it’s particularly bad if you’re in Scotland, Wales, Devon and Cornwall.
HSBC claim they can be this aggressive because footfall has reduced by 40% in their branch network as more and more people are online. However, 20 million people don’t use online services and many of these people are in the areas where the most aggressive closures are taking place, as in rural villages with limited access to broadband services.
Tut, tut. The British Bankers Association are updating their guidelines about how banks close branches. Meanwhile, as can be seen, most rural users are moving towards mobile banking.