For immediate release
1.4 million customers to stop using bank branches due to COVID-19
- 8.4 million customers had already stopped visiting branches in person before lockdown
- Around a third (31%) of high-street banks’ customers say they’ll only go to a branch if they absolutely have to
- However, three-quarters (74%) of customers will return to banking in branch after the pandemic
15, October, 2020, LONDON –
1.4 million high-street bank customers (3%) don’t intend to go back to a bank branch again after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research by personal finance comparison site, finder.com
A further 1.6 million Brits (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.
This number may rise, as 8.4 (16%) million Brits had stopped using their bank’s branches before lockdown and are not sure if they will ever return.
However, not everyone has gone completely digital as 3 in 10 British banks’ customers (29%) have already returned to using their bank’s branches, with an additional 44% of customers planning to return soon.
Of these people who plan to return in the near future, over two-thirds (69%) will only return when they absolutely need to and their problem cannot be solved online or over the phone.
While a third of those consumers (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 banking in branch the way they did before lockdown.
However, they may face a longer journey than they previously did to find a branch. Data from ONS shows 25% of branches have closed in the UK since 2012 and this decline in branches is likely to continue if people follow through with their plans to avoid branches.
Customers in Northern Ireland will go back to banking in branches more so than those in any other region, with 85% of customers there saying they have already returned or plan to do so soon.
Interestingly, 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.
Those in the North East are set to follow the same path as residents in the East Midlands, with 5% of customers in the North East saying they will stop using branches in the future.
To see the research in full visit: https://www.finder.com/uk/banking-branch-usage
Commenting on the findings, Jon Ostler, CEO at finder.com said:
“Lockdown has quickly changed many aspects of our lives and our banking behaviour was no different. Not being able to visit bank branches in person meant many consumers had no option but to start using online banking and banks’ mobile apps. These are generally easy to use and intuitive so you would expect some of these new converts to stay away from branches going forward.
“While the digital-only banks excel at their app offering, previous research we carried out found that sentiment towards these banks fell almost three times as much during lockdown than towards high-street banks. Along with customer service being overwhelmed, this could be a sign that the quality of apps and online banking from high-street banks is catching up.”
Finder commissioned Onepoll on 26–28 August 2020 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+. A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.
The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com's review pages for the current correct values.
finder.com is a personal finance website, which helps consumers compare products online so they can make better informed decisions. Consumers can visit the website to compare utilities, mortgages, credit cards, insurance products, shopping voucher codes, and so much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs.
Best of all, finder.com is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better.
finder.com launched in the UK in February 2017 and is privately owned and self-funded by two Australian entrepreneurs – Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia – who successfully grew finder.com.au to be Australia's most visited personal finance website (Source: Experian Hitwise).