Bank branch closures having negative affect on many villages, says new report

According to data released by a recent investigative report by the Campaign for Community Bank Services, a high number of villages in Britain have been affected negatively by nearly 2000 closures in local bank branches over the last ten years.

For many UK banking customers who live in either small villages or out in the country, a lack of any kind of broadband facilities has been a serious problem, especially those customers who prefer to utilise any online banking options their bank may offer.  With the additional stress that many bank branches in smaller, more isolated villages are facing in their attempts to remain open for their customers, despite record profits posted by many banks recently, rural villagers may face an al-too-real struggle to gain proper access to their banking services.

A large number of personal and small business bank accounts have undergone a reduction in the number of branches they operate since 2000, some cases in the hundreds; Lloyds TSB is one such example, having closed approximately five hundred branches in that time.   The branches that were servicing smaller population centers and rural villages are the ones undergoing the most suffering, leading to concern being expressed by several officials that the elderly, the disabled, and other vulnerable classes of UK banking customers will face complications in their already difficult situations if they lack the means to travel an extended distance just to access the services their banks offer.

Derek French, a spokesman for Campaign for Community Bank Services, made a statement recently in which his organisation expressed concern that bank branches that are quieter than their more profitable, busier High Street branches will fall to the wayside.

Concerns that many banks may decide to cut costs by closing under-performing branches instead of cutting back in other areas are further complicating the issue, with many banks experiencing financial hardship thanks to the global economic crisis, further impacting banks’ ability to make their services accessible for as many of their custoemrs as possible.

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