Lloyds to close 53 more branches as customers make the move to online banking in yet another blow for the high street
- The bank says it’s closing branches as more customers switch to online banking
Lloyds has announced the closure of 53 more branches in the latest blow to the high street.
It takes the number of branches that have been shut or earmarked for closure so far this year across the industry to more than 500.
The new announcement means 21 Lloyds Bank, 15 Halifax and 17 Bank of Scotland sites will go between September this year and May 2024.
Like other lenders, Lloyds says it is closing branches because customers are increasingly opting for online banking.
However, campaigners argue that elderly and vulnerable account holders – some of whom struggle to use internet or app-based platforms – are being abandoned. That has been exacerbated by a sharp fall in the number of free-to-use cash machines.
Lloyds said the latest 53 branches set for closure had seen their usage fall by an average 55 per cent in the last five years
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Figures compiled by consumer group Which? show that 662 branches were closed last year across the industry and 204 have gone so far this year, with 255 more scheduled, giving a total of 1,121 before yesterday’s announcement.
That total includes 284 Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland outlets – the brands operated by Lloyds Banking Group.
The latest closures means Lloyds – which was rescued by taxpayers during the financial crisis with a £21billion bailout – has axed or is due to axe more branches than its rivals over the same period.
Lloyds said the latest 53 branches set for closure had seen their usage fall by an average 55 per cent in the last five years.
A spokesman said: ‘Alongside our digital and mobile banking options, we’re introducing more community bankers to provide face-to-face support.’
The ‘community bankers’ visit areas where branches have closed and have dedicated office space in which to meet customers on pre-announced days.
Since 2015, more than 5,000 branches, over half the total, have been axed, says Which?.
This year, HSBC’s UK boss Ian Stuart sparked fury when he told a committee of MPs that closing branches is ‘what customers want’.