Could 2018 Spell The End For Your Local Bank?
In 2017 alone, more than 800 UK banks closed their doors to customers for the final time. Although these closures were often met with protests from those reliant on their local branch, the popularity of online banking has been a huge factor in the disappearance of banks from our high streets. 63% of us report that we use online banking regularly and, with few customers still using their local branch for everyday services such as transferring money or paying bills, we could soon see a fully digital banking system.
Only 62% feel that local branches are important
Research conducted by PWC shows that a clear majority of Brits still see the need for local services but, perhaps surprisingly, almost 4 in 10 do not feel that they are important. This report also found that a huge 46% of customers now interact with their bank solely through digital means!
RBS plan 259 branch closures by June 2018
After a reported 40% drop in the number of customers using their branches since 2014, RBS recently announced plans to close around a quarter of their network, which includes RBS, Natwest and Ulster Bank branches. This is typical of the challenge that most banks now face – to find a cost-effective way to balance the demand for physical branches with the fact that almost half of us elect to use digital channels wherever possible.
Why do people prefer online banking?
For many of us, local banks simply do not fit around a busy, modern lifestyle; they are closed by the time we return from work in the evening and closed for half of the weekend, leaving us little time to arrange a visit. In contrast, online banking is accessible 24/7 from anywhere we happen to find ourselves, so long as there is an internet connection.
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*Capital is at risk. Rate correct as of March 2018. You should seek independent financial advice.