Treasury written question – answered on 2nd February 2023.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many physical bank branches there were in the West Midlands in each year since 2010.
The Government believes that all customers, wherever they live, should have appropriate access to banking services. Nonetheless, decisions on opening and closing branches are a commercial issue for banks and building societies. The Government does not intervene in these decisions or make direct assessments of these branch networks.
Guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority sets out its expectation of firms when they are deciding to close their branches. Firms are expected to carefully consider the impact of planned branch closures on the everyday banking and cash access needs of their customers and consider possible alternative access arrangements. This ensures that the implementation of closure decisions is undertaken in a way that treats customers fairly.
Alternative options for access can be via telephone banking, through digital means such as mobile or online banking, and the Post Office. The Post Office Banking Framework allows 99% of personal banking and 95% of business banking customers to deposit cheques, check their balance and withdraw and deposit cash at 11,500 Post Office branches in the UK. New shared bank hubs are also being piloted, providing basic banking services and dedicated space where community bankers from major banks can meet customers of that bank.
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