• 84% OF BRITS STILL BANK OVER THE COUNTER
• ONE IN 10 WHO BANK IN BRANCH CITE SKETCHY BROADBAND OR NO INTERNET BANKING ACCESS AT ALL
• 31% BELIEVE THEY COULD SUFFER FINANCIAL EXCLUSION IF THEIR BRANCH CLOSED
• 75% OF PEOPLE SAY IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE ACCESS TO FACE-TO-FACE ADVICE IN A BRANCH

Gone are the days when banks and building societies were a familiar sight on every high street and the manager knew you by first name. Whilst, many won’t miss waiting in the long queues of yesteryear, with more banks disappearing from our high street – are we at risk of excluding older generations and those living in areas where broadband is still unreliable?

The overwhelming majority (84%) of Britons still prefer to bank over the counter, with one in 10 (8%) admitting to not banking online – or knowing how to – according to new research released by the Nottingham Building Society.

Age UK figures2 show that 4.5 million over 65s struggle with using the internet. Furthermore, the research indicates a growing generational gap between millennials and their older counterparts who don’t – or can’t – bank online (18-24 0% Vs 13% over 55s respectively) – which could leave more mature Brits in danger of being left behind if their local branch were to close.

The pace of branch closures has been increasing rapidly for the last few decades. In 1989 there were 17,832 branches operating in the UK and this fell to just below 8,000 by the end of 2016. And there are now an estimated 1,500 previously banked and now branchless towns in the UK

FINANCIAL EXCLUSION
The building society carried out the research to highlight the importance of banks and buildings societies remaining on the high street and the key role they can play in filling the advice gap. It says that they should be reinvented to be more relevant to the needs of customers today by offering a wider range of services to address the growing problem of people finding it increasingly difficult to access financial advice on key financial issues.

The study reveals that 1 in 3 (31%) believe they could suffer from financial exclusion if their local branch closes because they would no longer be able to access the services they offer.

THE PERSONAL TOUCH
Banks and building societies are often the pillars of local communities. 75% believe it’s important to have access to face-to-face advice in a branch, with over a third (35%) admitting they’d visit their local high street less if they couldn’t bank there.

While nearly half (42%) of those asked say that they would visit their local bank or building society more if they offered more over-the-counter services.

To discuss all this & more, Simon is joined by special guest David Marlow, CEO of Nottingham Building Society.

Tune in from 1pm this Friday on Channel Radio.

Wording & statistics: ON-Broadcast Communications Ltd.