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Has your local bank branch closed? Here’s what you can do

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Ella Mower

Senior Content Writer
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People walking through a high street

At a glance

  • With more people using online and mobile banking, it’s becoming less cost-effective for banks to keep branches open
  • If your local branch has closed, to continue banking in-person you could consider switching to a new account, visiting your local Post Office branch or using a banking hub where available
  • High street banks offer digital lessons which could help you get to grips with online banking.

With advancements in technology, the way we bank has changed over recent years. Online and mobile banking has generally made it quicker and easier than before to manage personal finances. As an increasing number of people rely on these services, it’s becoming less cost-effective for banks to operate in-person and as a result many have taken the decision to close some of their branches. But what options does that leave you if your local branch faces closure?

How many branch closures have there been in the UK?

In the 10 years between 2012 and 2022, the number of bank branches in the UK fell by 44% (5,050 branches), according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data. Meanwhile, the number of building society branches fell by 12% (235 branches).

Switch to a new account

If your local branch closes but you want to continue managing your finances in person, you could consider switching your current and/or savings account to another bank or building society with a branch in your local area.

On our website, you can search for current accounts that can be managed in-person by selecting ‘branch’ in the account management dropdown box. Similarly, when searching for a savings account, by clicking the ‘full search’ button you can filter results to show only those accounts that can be opened and managed in branch. Before switching, you’ll want to check that your new bank or building society has a branch near you which can be easily accessed.

Some current accounts even offer switching deals to incentivise new customers, meaning it could pay you to shop around. However, there is always the risk that your new bank or building society could close branches in the future, leaving you back where you started.

Visit the Post Office

Many people aren’t aware that they can use their local Post Office branch for their everyday banking needs. This fee-free service allows both personal and business customers to access their bank accounts and carry out day-to-day transactions, including paying in cash and cheques, withdrawing money and checking your balance.

High street names such as Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide, NatWest and Santander are just some of the providers whose accounts can be accessed through the Post Office. As usual, you’ll need your card and PIN to check your balance, and to withdraw and deposit funds. To pay in cash or a cheque, you’ll also still need to complete a paying-in slip.

You can access this service in any Post Office branch whenever it is open, including evenings and Sundays where available.

Banking hubs

Designed to be a shared banking space, banking hubs operate in a similar way to traditional banks but are available to everyone. Inside each hub, you’ll find Post Office staff ready to help with regular banking transactions including withdrawing and depositing cash and making bill payments.

On a rotating basis, these hubs will also have staff from different banks available to help you with more complex issues. This means you’ll be able to speak to a representative from your own bank should the need arise.

Providers involved include: Bank of Ireland UK, Barclays, Danske Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Nationwide, NatWest, Santander, TSB and Virgin Money.

As of March 2023, only four banking hubs have been opened; these are located in Brixham (Devon), Cambuslang (South Lanarkshire), Cottingham (East Ridings of Yorkshire) and Rochford (Essex). While more are scheduled, there are no fixed dates for when they’ll open.

Digital lessons

If you’re interested in learning how to use online banking, many banks and building societies offer guidance which can teach you the basics. To use these services you’ll need to have an internet connection and access to an internet browser.  

Lloyds Bank Academy from Lloyds Bank offers free online lessons that not only teach you to use online banking but can help you more widely with getting started online, using social media, and protecting yourself from scams.

Meanwhile, HSBC runs its HSBC@Home programme which comprises 30-minute sessions via Zoom (a video communications platform). Group sessions are led by a local branch colleague who’ll explain what you need to know about digital banking and will give you the opportunity to raise any questions you may have.

NatWest also offers its Digital Lessons taught via Zoom which are available to all NatWest customers. Lessons include how to log in online, how to make payments and transfers, and how to manage your standing orders and direct debits.

For a more independent learning experience, Barclays UK uploads ‘how to’ videos on its YouTube channel which you can watch for free at any time. The benefit of this platform is that you can pause, rewind and rewatch videos whenever you need. Some topics covered include how to register for online banking, how to log in and how to make a payment.

The services listed here will be aimed at the customers of each respective bank. However, many banks and building societies will offer similar guidance to help get to grips with online banking, so it’s worth contacting your savings or current account provider to find out what support it can offer you.

Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

People walking through a high street

At a glance

  • With more people using online and mobile banking, it’s becoming less cost-effective for banks to keep branches open
  • If your local branch has closed, to continue banking in-person you could consider switching to a new account, visiting your local Post Office branch or using a banking hub where available
  • High street banks offer digital lessons which could help you get to grips with online banking.

Moneyfactscompare.co.uk will never contact you by phone to sell you any financial product. Any calls like this are not from Moneyfacts. Emails sent by Moneyfactscompare.co.uk will always be from news@moneyfacts-news.co.uk. Be ScamSmart.

Moneyfactscompare.co.uk will never contact you by phone to sell you any financial product. Any calls like this are not from Moneyfacts. Emails sent by Moneyfactscompare.co.uk will always be from news@moneyfacts-news.co.uk. Be ScamSmart.