To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the closure of high street branches of the major UK banks, what assessment they have made of the continued availability of access to financial services.
24 April 2017
The Government is committed to improving access to financial services, across both traditional and digital channels.
Six in ten UK adults aged 16 and over now use internet banking, while the British Bankers’ Association estimates that the use of mobile payments alone increased by 54% between 2014 and 2016. The Government recognises that online and mobile banking brings practical day to day benefits to many consumers.
The Government also recognises the need to support local communities to adapt to changes in the banking landscape, including when bank branches close. In March 2015, the Government helped to broker an industry-wide agreement to work with customers and communities to minimise the impact of bank branch closures and put in place alternative banking services. The Government welcomed Professor Russel Griggs’ recent review of the Protocol and is pleased to see the industry commit to further improvements to protect those affected by closures.
Alternative banking services are also available at the Post Office. As a result of a new agreement with UK banks, announced in January 2017, the Post Office estimates that 99% of personal and 75% of business customers will be able to carry out their day to day banking at more than 11,500 Post Office branches across the UK.