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UK banks predicted to disappear from high streets by April 2032

Kalila Sangster
·3-min read
Young blond woman checking account balance, taking money from ATM outdoors
Experts are calling on the government to act now to protect access to cash. Photo: Getty

High street banks will disappear from the UK by April 2032 if the current rate of closures continue, according to new analysis of bank branch data by financial analysis firm AskTraders.

Just 7,655 banks remain on British high streets, with an average of 55 banks closing every month for the past five years, the research found.

Wentworth and Dearne in South Yorkshire is the first constituency in the country to lose all its bank branches, leaving locals with no access to a bank at all.

Bradford South has the second worst access to banks with one branch serving just under 106,000 people. Derby North comes in third with one bank for 102,509 people, followed by Chatham and Aylesford, with a single branch for 102,240 constituents.

READ MORE: Borrowing and lending between friends and family plummets

Residents in Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, have the best access to banks with 108 branches serving a population of 26,830 — 248 people per bank.

Those living in Ross, Skye and Lochaber and Argyll and Bute also have banks in plentiful supply with 219 and 119 branches respectively.

In England, Cities of London and Westminster is the constituency with the best access to bank branches in relation to its population. Just under 130,000 people are served by 112 banks — 1,160 people per bank.

In terms of cities, London has the best access to banks with 2,257 people per branch followed by Southampton, Belfast, and Edinburgh.

With 13,243 people per branch, Nottingham is the city with the worst bank access, followed by Bristol (13,240), Liverpool (12,601), Glasgow (12,552), and Leicester (12,249).

UK constituencies most affected by the bank closures
UK constituencies most affected by the bank closures. Graphic: AskTraders

Despite 86%of Brits using online banking this year, 19% of people still visit a bank once a week or more, according to AskTraders. Over a third (39%) also said they visited the bank as regularly as they did five years ago.

Paying-in cheques was the most common reason for people visiting a bank followed by withdrawing cash and seeking financial advice, the research found.

While Post Offices are often highlighted as an alternative to bank branches, just 23% of people use them for banking services with over 14% saying they were unaware they could even use the Post Office for banking.

READ MORE: UK cash usage declining fastest in Europe

Nigel Frith, senior financial analyst at AskTraders, is calling on the government to act now to protect access to cash.

He said: “With 50 million people in the UK still reliant on using cash, the need for security around high street banks is clear to see. While high streets and banking groups must continue to evolve, millions of people still rely on the services physical bank branches provide.

“Online banking should certainly be embraced but not at the expense of branches on the high street which meet the nuanced needs of individuals. It’s really important the government delivers on its promise to protect access to cash.”