Regions of the UK hardest hit by hundreds of bank branch closures have been revealed

Banks are closing their branches at a fast pace, but that’s bad news for the elderly and rural communities that rely heavily on access to physical money

Customers are queuing at an ATM
London is the region least affected by bank closures

Northern Ireland and the North are hardest hit closure of bank branches with regions far more dependent on physical cash than others.

High street banks are due will close 281 branches this year , debt falling steps. The trend has continued for years.

While Brits can easily do without cash in many parts of the UK, particularly London, some regions are much more reliant on physical money.

Consumer organizations like which? to have talked about these closures that fewer bank branches put the elderly and cash dependent at a disadvantage.

One of the largest ATM operators, NoteMachine, has over 11,000 ATMs in the UK.

The company compiled its numbers to find out which regions are most reliant on cash.

While the coronavirus pandemic has seen cash use fall across the country, Northern Ireland has seen the fastest recovery.

In the first two months of 2022, the region has withdrawn 98% of the cash it had before the pandemic, while the Northwest is at 83%.

The full list of regions most reliant on cash is:

  • Northern Ireland
  • Northeast
  • Wales
  • northwest
  • Scotland
  • East Midlands
  • West Midlands
  • South East
  • southwest
  • Greater London area

Rural communities are disproportionately affected by the loss of ATMs and bank branches, as they often rely more heavily on cash.

A church leader at a Suffolk church said their church receives cash in donations from visitors and churchgoers.

The warden added: “I raise money from the collection box and record donations in ministries, 90% of which is cash. We have purchased an electronic payment device for use on major services but this is a new venture and is viewed with suspicion by most of the community.

“The problem arises from the need for me or the Treasurer to make a 15-mile round trip to the nearest town with a Barclays bank to deposit the funds.”

A NoteMachine spokesperson said: “There is still a large segment of society that relies on cash as a primary form of payment and as a budgeting tool, and this is particularly true for those who are likely to be hardest hit by the rising cost of living.

“For the elderly, those on low incomes or those with financial difficulties, access to cash is crucial at times like this and we can expect more people to turn to cash to take control of their finances.”

Lloyds said last month it would close 60 bank branches for a move to online banking, and many rival banks are doing the same.

HSBC is closing 69 bank branches due to the switch to online banking, which will affect around 400 employees.

TSB will close 70 bank branches in the UK this year, while NatWest will close 32 branches, including 11 Royal Bank of Scotland locations.

Lloyds Banking Group will close 48 of its branches for its Lloyds Bank and Halifax brands.

Barclays closed two of its physical stores in February.

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Fry Electronics Team

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