Banks: Closures

Treasury written question – answered on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of bank branch closures on the financial well-being of the elderly.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The Treasury does not make assessments of bank branch closures, including the impact on the financial well-being of the elderly, as this is a commercial matter for banks. However, the Government believes it is important the impact of branch closures on communities is understood, considered and mitigated where possible.

That’s why the Government supports the industry’s Access to Banking Standard which helps customers to understand the options they have locally to continue to access banking services, including specialist assistance for customers who need more help, which may include the elderly.

The Government also considers it important that all customers, wherever they live and especially those who are vulnerable, can still access over the counter banking services. The Post Office’s Banking Framework Agreement enables 99% of banks’ personal customers to carry out their everyday banking at a Post Office counter via its network of 11,500 branches. The Government believes it is essential that more customers are aware of these useful services. This is why we asked UK Finance and the Post Office to create a 5-point action plan to increase publicity of Post Office banking services and ensure more customers can benefit from them.

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