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Banks: Closures

Question for Treasury

UIN 111605, tabled on 25 January 2022

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the number of bank branch closures in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England in each of the last five years.

Answered on

28 January 2022

The Government recognises the continued importance of access to banking. However, decisions on opening and closing branches are a commercial issue for banks and building societies. The Government does not intervene in these decisions or make direct assessments of these branch networks.

In May 2017, the largest banks and building societies signed up to the Access to Banking Standard which commits them to ensure customers are well informed about branch closures, the bank’s reasons for closure and options for continued access to banking services.

Guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority also sets out its expectation of firms when they are deciding to reduce their physical branches or the number of free-to-use ATMs. Firms are expected to carefully consider the impact of planned branch closures on their customers’ everyday banking and cash access needs and consider possible alternative access arrangements. This ensures the implementation of closure decisions is undertaken in a way that treats customers fairly.

Alternative options for access can be via telephone banking, through digital means such as mobile or online banking, and the Post Office. The Post Office Banking Framework allows 95% of business and 99% of personal banking customers to deposit cheques, check their balance and withdraw and deposit cash at 11,500 Post Office branches in the UK.

Answered by

Treasury
Named day
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