Three months of shrinking bank networks: Are your local branches next?

  • The bank branch network shrinks by 4.55 percent between April and Juni this year
  • Over 1,000 branches were closed at major High Street banks since the pandemic.
  • Lloyds, Halifax and Virgin Money  set for imminent branch closures

Britain’s banks branch network contracted by 4.55 percent within three months. Banks are closing their branches across the UK.

According to FCA data between April and June 267 branches were closed. Only 5,599 branches remained.

Bank branches in Britain are rapidly disappearing off the high streets of Britain at an unprecedented rate over recent years.

Major High Street banks have axed over 1,000 branches since the pandemic forced the first lockdown in March 2020.

Over 1,000 banks on High Street have closed their branches after the pandemic in March 2020.

Since January 2015, bank branches have been closing at a rate of 50 each month, according to lobby group Which?, but the pandemic appears to have exacerbated the trend. 

Since March 2020’s pandemic, over 1,000 banks on the High Street have been closed, according to Which?. There are many others planned in the months ahead.

Close down of bank branches

In England and Wales, Lloyds Banking Group will close 48 other Lloyds or Halifax banks branches next year.

All closings are scheduled between January-April, and the affected areas include Balham and Christchurch as well as Prescot and Sevenoaks.

Virgin Money announced that it will close 31 branches of banks and eliminate around 112 employees as part of its efforts to expand online.

Virgin Money branches are located in Beverley and Blackburn as well as Lincoln, Macclesfields, Nuneatons, Whitby, Whitby, and Whitby.

At the start of the year, HSBC said it would shut 82  branches this year and axe counter services at others as it focuses on temporary ‘pop-up’ hubs in a digital drive 

Santander stated in spring it was closing 111 UK bank branches by August. 

Do closures have a future?  

Although the closing of branches of bank banks will not cause much concern for many, small businesses and older customers who are less tech-savvy have begun to worry that they may lose their branch.

The FCA data shows that 60 percent live within 2km radius of a bank, while 12.5 percent live more than 5km away.

Hagger said that for customers with limited internet access, who would prefer to bank face to face, there are fewer options and fewer hours available.

“There are initiatives like mobile banking vans or banks sharing branches. These lower-cost alternatives may expand.

I believe that it is likely that branch networks in the future will shrink, as more people use online technology. But that won’t be a comfort to the elderly who have no understanding or trust of the internet.

In March, Santander announced plans to close 111 branches by the end of August 2021 in response to the ongoing shift by customers towards mobile and online banking.

Santander, in March announced its intention to close all 111 branches by August 2021 to respond to customers’ shift to online and mobile banking.

According to SAS, one in four respondents said they’d avoid the local branch if it meant they could have a digital-only experience. This is according to their new data.

The study also showed that more than one-eighth of all banking customers used a mobile app or digital service for the first times during the pandemic. 

There is no evidence that the trend towards online banking will slow down in the future. 

According to Temenos’ Economist Intelligence Unit report, nearly two-thirds of industry executives believe branch-based lenders are ‘dead’ in five years.

SAS research found that almost one-fifth of digital bank users anticipates using the mobile app or digital services in addition to their in-person visits. Over a quarter also intend to use digital as a permanent substitute for their in-person visits.

Andrew Hagger is the founder of MoneyComms. He stated that the “covid pandemic” has led banks to refocus on their branches networks after covid. Customers are now transacting online more than they do in person.

“Banks will look at branch locations that are less financially viable because of lower footfall. This is especially true if there’s another outlet in close proximity.”


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Virgin MoneyCurrent account offers £150 Virgin Experience Days gift card when you switch and pays 2.02 per cent monthly interest on up to £1,000. To get the bonus, £1,000 must be paid into a linked easy-access account and 2 direct debits transferred over.


Club Lloyds’s current account Pays 0.6% interest on balances of up to £3,999, while those with sums of between £4,000 and £5,000 will earn 1.5% on that balance. There is no cost if you pay £1,500 each month, otherwise a £3 fee applies. You must have two direct debits.


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Nationwide FlexDirectWith account, 2% interest on up to £1,500 – the highest interest rate on any current account – if you pay in at least £1,000 each month, plus a fee-free overdraft. These perks are good for one year.