Rural Areas Suffered Most from Bank Branch Closures

Posted on 13 May, 2016 by Chris Grigorovsky

Figures found by the BBC have revealed that over 600 bank branches across Britain in the past year have seen closures, with rural areas being the most affected.

Rural Areas Suffered Most from Bank Branch Closures

It was found that parts of Scotland, Wales and South West England, between April 2015 and April 2016, lost the most per population.

Wales suffered the most bank loses, with five of the top 10 areas being there, which were: Denbighshire, Conwy, Powys, Gwynedd and Carmarthenshire.

The bank with the most closures over the last year was RBS with 166, followed by HSBC with 146.

The main reason for the closures, according to banks, is the increase of customers switching to online banking. RBS figures have shown that over the counter transactions have fallen 43% since 2010, while in contrast, online and mobile banking increased four-fold.

An RBS spokesperson said: “We review our branch network regularly to make sure the services we provide are appropriate for each local community, based on our customers’ usage and other ways to bank in the local area.”

Campaigners are arguing that the loss of banks is damaging the communities, with the Federation of Small Businesses’ chairman, Mike Cherry, saying: “In the unfortunate event that a closure takes place, customers must be redirected to appropriate banking services.”

The only alternative is Post Offices, with basic banking available across 11,500 of them.

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