More than 200 bank branches are the “last in town”
There are now just over 200 physical bank branches which are the last in town, according to lawmakers.
There are 203 such branches in the UK, with Lloyds Bank operating more than half of the branches that are the last in their community, new figures provided to MPs show.
The bank said it has 118 ‘latest in town’ branches, which provide essential services to many vulnerable customers who need branches to be able to access their money.
Although the use of online banking services has exploded, branch banking services can be a vital lifeline for customers who find it difficult to use online or over the phone services.
Treasury Committee Chairman Mel Stride said: “For many, especially small businesses, the elderly and vulnerable, access to a bank branch is vital to accessing cash.
“While it is encouraging that Main Street Banks have engaged so positively with the committee, we note that there are over 200 ‘last in town’ bank branches across the country.
“We are concerned that if these access points are closed, vital access to banking services and cash will be beyond the reach of many communities. “
The MP added: “The committee will continue to monitor the impact of bank branch closures on access to cash as part of our broader work.”
The biggest banks with 4,521 bank branches across the UK:
Lloyds, which counts Halifax and Bank of Scotland branches in its figures, has a total of 1,567 branches across the country.
NatWest has 833 branches, 46 of which are the last in their community, according to the data.
TSB has 290 branches, three of which are “the last in town”.
Barclays has 738 branches and has not told MPs how many are the last in their community.
Santander reported 450 branches, six of which were “the last in town,” while Nationwide said 30 of its 643 branches were the last in their community.
While still important to many customers, far fewer people use bank branches today than in the past.
In a letter to the committee, Barclays said that 50 years ago almost 90% of all transactions were made at branches, but today that figure is less than 10%.