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‘Boarded up and forgotten’ empty banks rotting on Britain’s high streets

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Research revealed that there are currently 2,343 vacant premises that were previously occupied by a bank or building society branch. Greater London has the highest percentage of all vacant branches

There are currently 2,343 vacancies that were previously used by a bank or building society branch
There are currently 2,343 vacancies that were previously used by a bank or building society branch

More than 2,300 closed Bank and building society branches are still empty – dozens of them for more than a decade.

An analysis for the Daily Mirror revealed some former branches had been boarded up or abandoned for 12 years, wreaking havoc on nearby high streets.

It comes as lenders push ahead with a spate of new closures, sparing them a package but attributing it to a shift in customers online banking.

Research by the Local Data Company revealed that there are currently 2,343 vacant premises that were previously occupied by a bank or building society branch.

Greater London has the highest percentage of all empty branches at 15.7%, followed by the North West (13.2%) and the broader South East (12.8%).

The North West has the highest vacancy rate for bank branches, where almost a third of the former banks are currently vacant.







Lenders are driving a plethora of new closures
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Image:

(Getty Images)

57% of all vacant banks have been standing for less than three years, but 15% – 352 branches – have been vacant for more than five years.

30 branches are still deserted at least 10 years after they were closed.

These include the former HSBC branch in Longtown, Cumbria, which closed in 2010.

Lillian Riding, who works next door at Gretna Bakery and Cafe, said: “It’s become an eyesore.

“Someone bought it and wanted to use it as storage, but nothing has happened to it since.

“Now it’s just boarded up and forgotten.”

The nearest bank is eight miles away in Carlisle.







Greater London has the highest percentage of all vacant branches
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Image:

Bloomberg via Getty Images)

While Longtown locals are left with the building wreaking havoc on their high street, HSBC has long since moved on, recently announcing that annual profits have doubled to £13.9bn.

Another bank that has been vacant since 2010 is the former Lloyds Bank on Silver Street in Hull.

Photos promoting the rental building show the impressive former banking hall and vaulted glass ceiling.

However, the agent marketing the premises said the fee bill, the cost of remodeling the building, the use of upper floors and the restricted windows have put off any potential new tenants.

Sean Birch, of nearby marine equipment and charting company B Cooke and Son, said: “It’s been closed for so long people just walk past it.”

The nearby RBS branch on Silver Street is scheduled to close permanently next Thursday.

Parent company Natwest last month announced 32 more closures this year. Barclays’ annual report revealed nearly 300 stores have closed over the past two years, including 104 – two a week – in 2021.

Jenny Ross, which ones? Money Editor, said: “The seemingly inexorable closure of bank branches will leave the millions of people who rely on them face-to-face for cash withdrawals and essential banking services concerned about how they will continue to access cash and the future of their high streets .

“While many consumers are now choosing to bank digitally, some are not yet ready or able to take the plunge.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/boarded-up-forgotten-empty-banks-26378542 'Boarded up and forgotten' empty banks rotting on Britain's high streets

Fry Electronics Team

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