Two of the country’s biggest banking giants have announced they are closing a total of 63 branches. Barclays said on Friday it will shut another 10 branches, on top of more than 70 closures this year that have already been announced.
Meanwhile, Lloyds Banking Group will shut the doors on 21 Lloyds Bank sites, along with 15 Halifax high street branches and 17 Bank of Scotland buildings between September and May 2024.
The company previously announced in January that it planned to close 40 Lloyds and Halifax sites.
The closures will take place across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The rapid shrinking in the number of physical banks across the UK comes as more and more customers choose to almost exclusively use online banking.
However, concerns have been raised that shutting swathes of high street branches could cause problems for older and vulnerable people who do not have easy access to the internet.
Age UK warned in a report last month that the rise of digital banking, cashless transactions and the closure of branches carried the risk of some people being “cut adrift from society”.
A poll of over 65s, commissioned by the charity, found that 27% manage their accounts via a branch or other physical location, such as a Post Office, rather than online. Some 75% said they wanted to carry out at least one transaction in a branch.
Lloyds said that across its brands more than 20 million customers regularly use online banking and that visits to the 53 branches it is shutting have dropped by an average of 55% in the last five years.
The worst hit branch earmarked for closure has seen footfall drop by 73%, Lloyds said. It did not reveal the location.
A spokesperson said: “Alongside our digital and mobile banking options, we’re introducing more community bankers to provide face-to-face banking support in communities. “Customers can also bank with us over the phone, through the Post Office or in a banking hub.”
The company said all staff at branches that are set to shut would be “offered a role at another branch or elsewhere in our business.”