“First step towards ensuring banks will not leave customers out in the cold” – our response to the protocol on bank branch closures

As the protocol for bank branch closures is announced, new Which? research shows the importance of banks introducing alternatives for customers.

  • Four in ten (41%) still use the local branch of their high street bank at least once a month.
  • 37% say it would inconvenience them if their local high-street bank branch closed and three in ten (30%) say they would consider switching banks showing the importance of introducing alternatives for customers.
  • The most popular alternatives for consumers, if their high-street bank closed, are: ATMs providing other services (41%); the bank operating in another location e.g. supermarket (39%); banking provided in the Post Office (35%); or shared branches (35%).
  • Banking in a nearby location (e.g. in a supermarket) is most popular among older age groups. 47% of 55-64 year olds and 46% of people aged 65+ say they would like to see this, compared to 39% for all age groups.
  • In rural areas, banks providing services at the Post Office or in another location are the most popular alternatives (both 41%).          

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

​”Today’s agreement is the first step towards ensuring banks will not leave customers out in the cold when branches close. It will provide some reassurance to vulnerable people who often rely on face-to-face banking and aren’t able to bank online or travel to other branches.

“We expect the banks to stick to their word and ensure all consumers can access vital banking services, no matter where they live. Next year’s independent review of this agreement will be an important test of the banks’ commitment to regaining the trust of consumers.”​​


​Research m​ethodology: Populus, on behalf of Which?, interviewed a representative sample of 2085 UK adults online between 20th and 22nd March 2015.  Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all UK adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.


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