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Mobile banking 'not the answer'

Scotland ‘worst hit’ as banks shut two branches a day

rbs branch closures

Mobile banking is no substitute for branch closures for many customers says Which?

Almost 60 bank and building society branches close every month, with Scotland the worst affected part of the UK, according to new analysis.

Consumer group Which? said that in the last three years, 2,868 branches have closed or are scheduled to do so.

Which? said branch closures have been accelerating. It said so far this year 670 branches have closed or been scheduled for closure – putting 2018 on course to overtake the number of closures in 2017, when 879 branches were shut.

Which? said mobile banking trucks are not as convenient as a dedicated bank branch and mobile banking apps are not suitable for everyone’s needs.

NatWest has closed or is planning to close the most (638), followed by HSBC (440), Lloyds (366) and RBS (350).

Scotland has been particularly badly hit, with 368 branches having shut since 2015, or scheduled for closure.

Which? Money expert Gareth Shaw said: “Bank branch closures are happening at an alarming rate – with almost 60 shutting every month – stripping customers and communities of access to the financial services they need.

“While the decision is clearly a commercial one for a bank to take, it is also crucial that banks do recognise the needs of their customers and the communities they serve, before simply shutting their doors –  and their customers out.”

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