Lloyds Banking Group has announced it is shutting 48 more Lloyds and Halifax bank branches across England and Wales.
In total, 41 Lloyds Bank branches and seven Halifax branches will be closed for good with the lender claiming affected customers will still have access to cash ‘within a third of a mile’.
All 48 bank branches will be shutting next year, and locations affected include Balham, Christchurch, Dorking, Prescot, Sevenoaks and Windsor.
Unite Union claims that around 178 jobs at Lloyds Banking Group could be affected.
More closures: Lloyds Banking Group has announced it is shutting 48 more Lloyds and Halifax bank branches across England and Wales
Is your branch closing? The 48 Lloyds and Halifax branches closing in 2022
The group shut 56 branches between March and April this year, and 44 are closing between September and November. The 48 branches announced today will close between January and April 2022.
Vim Maru, retail director for Lloyds Banking Group, said: ‘Like many other businesses, we’ve seen people using our branches less frequently in recent years, and this decline is continuing.
‘Our branches remain a fundamental part of how we serve our customers but we need to ensure the size of our branch network reflects the number of customers wanting to use them.’
According to the lender, all the branches being closed have, over time, had ‘significantly fewer customers regularly using them.’
It added: ‘This means, like all banks, the Group must continue to adapt for a future where most customers need to visit in person less regularly.
‘A face to face presence is the best option for some services which is why alongside branches, the Group also runs a specialist Home Hub for home-buyers, flagship locations in three major cities, and is piloting a new network of Community Bankers to support customers within their communities.’
Going: 41 Lloyds Bank branches and seven Halifax branches will be closed in 2022
The lender said it had around 25million customers, of which 18million were ‘active’ digital banking users, and over 13million ‘regular’ mobile app users.
To ensure customers who need face-to-face help with their banking continue to get it, Lloyds Banking Group said it was ‘exploring a new Community Banker programme’ with a number of towns across the UK.
It added: ‘One day each week, a Community Banker will be available in a town centre location (such as a library or bookshop), to support customers with (but not limited to) account enquiries, making payments, PIN requests, online banking queries, and appointment requests. Community Bankers are currently visiting 8 locations.’
Sharon Graham, Unite General Secretary said: ‘The announcement by Lloyds Banking Group of closing a further 48 bank branches is a complete betrayal of the communities and staff who have long supported this highly profitable business.
‘This sector needs to start taking their corporate social responsibilities seriously and stop neglecting their obligations to their customers and workforce.
‘Banks are leaving people behind in the rush to close bank branches and force consumers to go cashless to boost their mega-profits. It’s classic example of putting profits before people.’
Unite said it believes the banking industry should have a legal commitment to protect access to cash and bank branches.
In September, Virgin Money announced plans to close 31 bank braches and axing around 112 jobs as it looks to move more of its operations online.
Among others, Virgin Money branches in Beverley, Blackburn, Lincoln, Macclesfield, Nuneaton, Whitby and Wick are all due to close.
Bosses said the move comes as more customers switched to online banking during the pandemic.
Back in March, Santander announced it was closing 111 branches up and down the country by the end of August this year.
The Spanish-owned lender said the ‘majority’ of branches being axed were under three miles from another Santander branch, with the furthest being five miles away.
It said that all of the 111 closing branches were within half a mile of at least two free-to-use cash machines.
Branches in New Malden, Marlow, Leatherhead, Sale, Surbiton, Twickenham and Wickford were just some of the swathes axed.
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