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High street banks will ‘wiped out by 2032’

by LLB Finance Reporter
2nd Nov 20 10:45 am

There will be no high street banks left in the UK by April 2032, startling new analysis of bank branch data has revealed.

Research by financial analysis firm AskTraders has found just 7,655 banks remain in an increasingly volatile economic climate.

The study shows an average of 55 banks have closed every month for the past five years.

Should this trend continue, all of the remaining branches in the UK would close within the next 12 years.

With almost a fifth of the UK having lost half or more of its bank branches in the last five years, the research also uncovers the areas hardest hit by the closures.

Nottingham is the city with the worst access to banks while London is the best.

From a local perspective, a single branch in Bradford South serves just less than 106,000 people while in Derby North and Chatham and Aylesford one bank serves 102,509 and 102,240 people respectively.

Only residents in Wentworth and Dearne, south Yorkshire, which was the first constituency to lose all of its branches, have worse access to a bank than these three areas.

The 10 constituencies in the UK with the fewest banks per capita 

Rank Constituency  People per branch 
1 Wentworth and Dearne  No bank branches 
2 Bradford South 105,865 
3 Derby North  102,509 
4 Chatham and Aylesford  102,240 
5 Central Suffolk and North Ipswich  101,907
6 Don Valley 100,577
7 Stoke-on-Trent North  99,615
8 St Helens North   99,320
9 Brighton Kemptown  96,557 
10 Liverpool West Derby  93,177

Residents in Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, have the best access to banks with 108 branches serving a population of 26,830. That equates to just 248 people per bank. 

Those living in Ross, Skye and Lochaber and Argyll and Bute also have banks in plentiful supply with 219 and 119 branches respectively. 

Cities of London and Westminster is the English constituency with the best supply of banks in relation to its population. Just less than 130,000 people are served by 112 banks which works out at 1,160 people per bank. 

Despite 86 per cent of people using the internet for online banking this year, the research by AskTraders found 19 per cent of Brits still visit a bank once a week or more. 39 per cent of people also said they visited the bank as regularly as they did five years ago. 

Predictably, paying-in cheques has been revealed as the most common reason for people visiting a bank followed by withdrawing cash and seeking financial advice. 

Nigel Frith, senior financial analyst at AskTraders believes the government must act now to protect access to cash.

He said, “With 50 million people in the UK still reliant on using cash, the need for security around high street banks is clear to see. While high streets and banking groups must continue to evolve, millions of people still rely on the services physical bank branches provide.

“Online banking should certainly be embraced but not at the expense of branches on the high street which meet the nuanced needs of individuals. It’s really important the government delivers on its promise to protect access to cash.” 

While Post Offices are often discussed as an alternative to bank branches, the study found just 23 per cent of Brits use them for banking services with more than 14 per cent of people unaware they could even use the Post Office for financial tasks. 

In terms of cities, London has the best access to banks with 2,257 people per branch followed by Southampton, Belfast and Edinburgh.

With just more than 13,000 people per branch, Nottingham is the city with the worst access to a bank, followed by Bristol and Liverpool. 

The 8 UK cities with the fewest banks per capita 

Rank  City  People per branch 
1 Nottingham  13,243
2 Bristol 13,240 
3 Liverpool 12,601 
4 Glasgow 12,552 
5 Leicester 12,249
6 Leeds 11,997
7 Manchester 11,905
8 Birmingham 11,357

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