19 Bank of Scotland branches to close as Lloyds Bank announces more UK closures
Lloyds Banking Group has announced that it will close a further 60 branches across the UK.
The lender said it would close 24 Lloyds Bank branches, 19 Bank of Scotland branches and 17 Halifax branches as customers continue to move towards online and mobile banking.
Unite the Union said that more local communities “will have their heart ripped out” due to the plans.
The union has claimed that the announcement will result in 124 job losses.
Lloyds Banking Group said that it now has 18.6 million regular online banking customers and over 15 million mobile app users. These have increased 12% and 27% respectively in the last two years.
The bank ured that it is vital that the group adapts to this trend as customers continue to choose online and mobile banking more frequently than visiting a branch.
The lender said that all of the branches announced for closure have been through LINK’s independent cash access assessments, recently introduced by the Cash Action Group, which ensure that cash access levels are maintained for communities.
As part of this process, LINK has recommended that three locations should get new Banking Hubs, where customers of all main banks can carry out day to day banking.
Vim Maru, group retail director, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Just like many other high street businesses, fewer customers are choosing to visit our branches. Our branch network is an important way for us to support our customers, but we need to adapt to the significant growth in customers choosing to do most of their everyday banking online.”
Caren Evans, Unite national officer, commented: “Lloyds Banking Group must not be allowed to abandon 60 more local communities where bank branches play an essential role. The 124 employees who work tirelessly in their communities are dedicated to serving the banking needs of the most vulnerable who depend on their skilled services.
“When a bank branch closes the heart of the local community is ripped out and the results are devastating. Unite is clear that simply leaving an ATM in place of a vibrant bank branch is wholly insufficient.
“The banking sector needs to answer some serious questions about its corporate social responsibilities and the government cannot stand back and allow the relentless closure of banks to continue until no more local banking services remain.”