Almost 5,000 high street banks have shut or are set to close since 2015 - but if you need access to cash and a local branch you still have options
Nearly 5,000 bank branches have been closed since 2015 - or are scheduled to be shut - according to data from Which?, leaving millions of people at risk of being cut off from vital banking services.
The trend has been expedited by the Covid-19 pandemic and MoneySavingExpert.com has reported on hundreds of planned branch closures this year, including at:
- Halifax: Lloyds Banking Group announced that 15 Halifax branches were to close before the end of 2021 and a further seven branches between February and March 2022.
- Lloyds Bank: Lloyds Banking Group announced that 29 Lloyds Bank branches were to close before the end of 2021 and a further 41 branches between January and April 2022.
- Santander: The high street bank announced in March that it would close 111 branches - around 20% of its 563 UK branches.
- TSB: The high street bank is to shut 70 branches across the UK between April and June 2022. This is in addition to the 164 branches closed already in 2021.
- Virgin Money: The bank announced in October 2021 that 30 branches would shut to customers in early 2022.
If your branch is closing, you can still deposit and withdraw money by using the Post Office
Most customers affected by bank branch closures can deposit and withdraw money from any of the Post Office's 11,500 branches. Your bank should have full details about this service on their website.
The Post Office branches also enable customers to check their balance and pay cheques into their account. Use the Post Office's branch finder tool to locate your nearest one.
If branch access is a priority and your outlet is closing, consider switching
If you no longer want to stay with your current bank due to branch closures (or you don't have a Post Office nearby), you might want to consider switching to a bank that does have a local branch nearby – although bear in mind there's no guarantee it too won't close in future.
Banks with branches that currently have switching incentives include the following:
- HSBC, which is offering a £150 cash bonus, plus a 1% linked regular savings account.
- First Direct, which is offering a free £130 cash bonus, plus a 1% linked regular savings account.
- Nationwide, which is offering a free £125 cash bonus for existing customers and £100 for newbies to switch to its FlexDirect account, plus 2% fixed interest on up to £1,500 and a 0% overdraft.
- Virgin Money, which is offering a free Virgin Experience Days voucher or a 12-bottle case of Virgin Wines 'worth £150', plus 2.02% interest on up to £1,000.
See our Best Bank Accounts guide for full details. See our Packaged Bank Accounts guide for those added extras and if you're looking to save our Top Savings Accounts guide gives you the latest details.
Additional reporting by the Press Association.