Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest have decided to discontinue the operation of even more traditional bank branches.
These financial institutions have announced their intention to close a total of 80 bank branches across the UK. Lloyds Banking Group plans to shut down 26 Lloyds branches, nine Halifax branches, and four Bank of Scotland branches. The remaining traditional bank offices which will be closed in the foreseeable future, belong to NatWest.
Earlier last week, Barclays announced its intention to close an additional 14 offices as part of a campaign to reduce its physical network of branches. Currently, many British financial institutions are abandoning traditional branches, as there is a drop in interest in the relevant structural units of the banking system on the part of consumers.
A Lloyds representative said that customers are increasingly opting for digital channels when making decisions about how to manage their money. Currently, this financial institution serves more than 20 million digital users. An employee of the bank noted that this fact is a clear confirmation of the need to develop online services.
Also, a representative of Lloyds said that the branches of the financial institution will continue to be available to customers along with telephone services, a mobile application, and an online bank.
A representative of NatWest said that the bank is aware of its responsibility towards those people who face difficulties when switching to an online financial environment, and therefore appropriate support measures and alternative service options for this group of customers are being developed.
By the end of 2023, the total number of NatWest physical branches that will be closed will be 1,257. This indicator, in case of successful implementation of the intentions of a financial institution, will be the highest in the UK banking system.
Statistics show that in the period from January 2015 to the present, 5,498 traditional bank branches were shut down in the UK. On average, more than 50 branches stop working in the British banking system every month.