Bank branch statistics: Number of bank branches in the UK

Are people still using bank branches? Is your area being affected by bank branch closures? Find out the latest data here.

Bank branches were once a staple of every high street and a necessity for most financial transactions. However, as people are increasingly moving their current accounts online, bank branches have been disappearing from the high streets of the UK at a rapid pace. Many people open, switch and manage their current account online these days. We look at the latest UK bank branch statistics.

Quick overview

  • In 2022, there were 8,060 bank and building society branches open in the UK.
  • An estimated 40% of UK bank and building society branches closed between 2012 and 2022.
  • Lloyds Banking Group has the most UK bank branches open in 2023, with 1,195.
  • Around 8 million UK adults (15%) want in-person interaction at a physical bank branch and, therefore, would not open a digital-only account.
  • The number of Barclays branches has dropped by 73% between 2017 and 2023.
  • Nationwide has seen the smallest decline in the number of bank branches, dropping by 12% between 2017 and 2023.

Number of bank branches in the UK

In 2022, 8,060 bank and building society branches were open in the UK. This was down 40% from the 13,345 branches open in 2012.

The number of bank branches open in 2022 was 6,305, down 44% from 11,355 in 2012. There were also 1,755 building society branches open in 2022, down 12% from 1,990 in 2012.

Year Bank branches Building society branches All branches
2012 11,355 1,990 13,345
2013 11,335 1,725 13,060
2014 10,960 1,685 12,650
2015 10,745 1,930 12,680
2016 10,340 1,975 12,315
2017 9,690 1,985 11,675
2018 9,090 1,975 11,065
2019 8,525 1,880 10,410
2020 7,675 1,880 9,560
2021 6,965 1,840 8,810
2022 6,305 1,755 8,060

Which bank has the most branches in the UK?

Lloyds is the leading UK bank with the most branches, having an estimated 1,195 open in 2023. It is followed by Nationwide Building Society, which has an estimated 608 branches open in 2023.

Barclays has had the biggest drop in the number of physical branch branches since 2017, decreasing 73% from 1,309 to just 347. NatWest has also seen a significant decline in the number of UK bank branches, dropping 66% from 1,537 in 2017 to just 523 in 2023.

Meanwhile, Nationwide has seen the smallest decrease in the number of bank branches out of the UK’s leading banks since 2017, dropping just 12% from 691 to 608.

Bank 2017 2018 2021 2022 2023
Lloyds Banking Group 2038 1700 1590 1427 1195
NatWest Group 1537 797 743 603 523
Barclays 1309 1058 798 459 347
Santander 841 498 494 492 456
HSBC 748 626 510 431 330
Nationwide Building Society 691 680 646 608 608
TSB Bank 588 559 299 229 212
The Co-operative Bank 105 95 77 77 77

How many bank branch closures have there been?

Between January 2022 and the end of November 2023, 1,039 bank branches have closed, and 202 more have announced they will be closing, adding up to a total of 1,241.

The majority of these closures and planned closures are coming from 4 major banks: Barclays closing 317 in total, NatWest closing 195 in total, Lloyds closing 184 in total and HSBC closing 183 in total.

Bank Total closures Closed Planned
NatWest 195 171 24
RBS 29 28 1
Nationwide 24 24 0
HSBC 183 177 6
BoS 51 32 19
Halifax 140 92 48
Lloyds 224 163 61
Barclays 317 286 31
Danske Bank 4 4 0
Ulster Bank 19 9 10
Santander 6 6 0
TSB 9 9 0
Virgin Money 40 38 2

Between 2012 and 2022, it is estimated that around 5,285 bank and building society branches have closed in total. The biggest drop in the number of branches was seen in 2020, when around 850 branches closed, which is likely related to the coronavirus pandemic and the decreased amount of in-person interaction allowed.

Case study: Bank branch closure has left Samantha stressed

Samantha Evans profile pic
Samantha Evans

Samantha, 36, lives in Wiltshire and tells us about her struggles with bank closures:

When I found out that the branch was being closed, it was really frustrating, to say the least. It has made sure it's harder for me to access actual face-to-face support. It's meant that if I have a problem, I have to call or use my mobile banking app to access support.

There was no support offered or in place. To be honest, there wasn't very much warning either, and it was only by chance that I discovered it was closing. No information was sent out or even uploaded onto the mobile app.

Bank branch usage

A third of Brits (32%) would not consider opening a digital-only bank account, preferring traditional banks. 15% of Brits said preferring to speak to someone in person was why they wouldn’t open a digital-only bank account. This means around 8 million UK adults still rely on having a physical bank branch and in-person interaction.

High street bank branch usage: Post COVID-19

We looked at how high street bank customers are changing their interaction with their bank branches beyond COVID-19.

According to our research, 1.4 million Brits (3%) don’t intend to go back to a bank branch again after the COVID-19 pandemic. A further 1.7 million (3%) said they don’t have an account with a high street bank, meaning a total of 3 million Brits don’t have a need for physical branches. And this number may rise, as 8.4 million Brits (16%) had stopped using their bank’s branches before lockdown and are not sure they will ever return.

However, not everyone has gone completely digital, with 3 in 10 high street bank customers (29%) already returning to using their bank’s branches and an additional 44% of customers planning to return soon. Of those people who plan to return in the near future, over two-thirds (69%) will only return if they absolutely need to and their problem cannot be solved online or over the phone, while a third (31%) are waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment before they go back to their local branch. This means that eventually, three-quarters of Brits (74%) will return to in-branch banking in some form.

Regional differences: Customer bank branch usage post COVID-19

We also analysed how high street bank customers from different regions across the UK are changing their interactions with their bank branches.

According to our survey, a quarter of customers (25%) in the East Midlands had already stopped banking in branches, making this the area with the most customers who no longer use branches. A close second was East England, with 22% having stopped using bank branches, followed by Scotland (19%), Wales (18%) and the South East (17%).

In contrast, Northern Ireland was the least likely to give up bank branches pre-COVID-19, with only 8% having stopped using them.

West Midlands residents were most likely to never go back to bank branches, with 5.3% choosing this option. The next-highest region to give up on bank branches was the North East (5%), followed by London, Scotland and Wales, with 3.2%, 3.2% and 3.1% of residents, respectively, saying they are never going back to bank branches.

The region that’s most keen to return to bank branches is Northern Ireland, with 85% of residents saying they have already returned or are looking to return soon. Yorkshire and the Huber residents are the next most enthusiastic (79%), followed by London (77%), the North West (76%) and the South West (75%).

The region least interested to go back to bank branches were those in the East Midlands, with just 66% of residents saying they will return to them.

Sources

  • ONS
  • LINK
  • Statista
  • Finder-commissioned nationally representative survey 2020

For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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