More than 200 bank branches are ‘last in town’, MPs reveal

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Lloyds Bank runs more than half of the UK’s bank branches that are the last in their community, according to new figures supplied to MPs.

The bank said it had 118 “last in town” branches, which provide vital services to many vulnerable customers who need branches to be able to access their money.

It is more than half of the 203 such branches across the UK, figures supplied by all the major banks show.

“For many, particularly small businesses, the elderly and vulnerable, access to a bank branch is vital to accessing cash,” said Treasury Committee chair Mel Stride.

“We are concerned that, should these close, vital access to cash and banking services will be out of reach for many communities.”

The MP added: “The committee will continue to monitor the impact of bank branch closures on access to cash as part of our broader work.”

Banks can provide a vital lifeline for customers who struggle using online or phone services.

Seven of the biggest banks have 4,521 bank branches across the UK.

Lloyds, which counts Halifax and Bank of Scotland branches among its figures, has a total of 1,567 branches across the country.

NatWest has 833 branches, of which 46 are the last in their community, the data shows.

Barclays has 738 branches, and did not tell MPs how many were the last in their community.

Santander reported 450 branches, of which six were “last in town”, while Nationwide said that 30 of its 643 branches were the last in their community.

Although still important to many customers, far fewer people use bank branches today than they did in the past.

In a letter to the committee, Barclays said that 50 years ago nearly 90% of all transactions were in branch but today that figure is less than 10%.

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