‘Retirees will be left behind’ as branch network shrinks – HM Treasury pushes | Personal Finances | Finance
The branch network is shrinking
According to the FCA’s latest cash access report for the second quarter of 2021, the branch network declined 4.55% between April and June 2021, with 267 branch closings, leaving 5,599 standing. This means that only 60.1% of the population is within 2 km of a bank branch (compared to 61.8% in the previous quarter) and 87.5% within 5 km of a branch (compared to 88 %).
In rural areas, only 77.3 percent are within 2 km of free cash access. This would have been made even more difficult by the fact that 89% of branches of banks and building societies were still operating reduced hours in April-June.
Despite this, the FCA noted that when including post offices, ATMs and mobile banks, the number of places to access free cash reached 60,227, up from 59,903 in a quarter. He also started adding places where you can get cash back, bringing the total to 489,709.
However, Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, expressed concern over the numbers.
“Bank branch closures risk cutting the most vulnerable people off their cash flow,” she said.
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