Due to Internet and mobile banking, the way customers are accessing banking services is changing at a rapid pace. The result of which is: banks are closing their branches at an unprecedented rate: in 2018, the consumer watchdog Which? reported that high street banks are closing 60 branches per month, and have closed a total of 2,868 bank branches between 2015 and 2018. What's more, Which? claimed that the number of bank branches that are closing accelerated in 2018. This may be unsettling for customers who need to interact with a bank employee face to face, and have difficulty traveling. For example, the Royal Bank of Scotland no longer has a branch located in North East Lincolnshire, and customers have to travel over the Humber river to Hull to visit their closest branch.
(Pictured: results have been provided by RBS' branch finder: https://locator-rbs.co.uk)
So, to cut to the chase, it is possible to keep up-to-date with the bank branch closures near you? That answer to that is yes, many banks provide a list of their recent branch closures, or provide a branch finder tool -- on their website -- to check which branches are open near you.
Bank of Scotland: https://www.bankofscotland.co.uk/contactus/branch-closures/
Co-operative Bank: https://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/branchupdates
The Which? report also highlighted the banks that were the 'worst offenders' when it came to branch closures, and also examined which regions were the worst hit. The banks that closed the most branches from 2015-2018 -- according to Which? -- were: Natwest, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Barclays. The regions worst hit were: Scotland, South East, North West, South West, and London. The impact of so many branch closures does not only affect customers, job losses have run into the thousands, and has led to protests by members of the Unite union in 2018 (against RBS branch closures in Scotland). In February 2018, BBC Scotland asked the RBS chief executive how his bank will give "that personal touch" to customers in rural communities, and he was reported as saying that mobile van branches and community bankers could fill the void. Only time will tell, as some bank services require face to face interaction -- such as adding individuals with a financial power of attorney to bank accounts -- so a solution will need to be implemented that doesn't require rural customers to make a 100 mile round trip.