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28 Nov 2019

TSB bank branch closures: is your local closing next year?

Find out which TSB bank branches will disappear in 2020

TSB has revealed the locations of the 82 bank branches it will be closing next year.

The closures will affect all parts of the UK, leaving many TSB customers with long journeys to find their next nearest branch.

The bank had only closed 94 branches in the last five years, making this recent announcement a huge acceleration in the closure rate.

Read on to see if your TSB branch will be among the ones which will close.

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Which TSB branches are closing?

The table below reveals which TSB bank branches are affected by the cuts, including the month in which they will shut.

Why are TSB closing 82 branches?

As more and more customers switch to using digital banking methods, banks face economic pressure to keep less frequently used branches open.

TSB said usage had fallen by 17% in the past two years alone. In addition, the bank said that it had twice as many branches per 10,000 customers than its competitors.

TSB's CEO Debbie Crosbie said the closures were part of a strategy to create a 'modern platform', adding: 'The plan involves some difficult decisions, but it sets TSB up to succeed in the future. Taken together, these changes will help us to serve more customers, better, for the long-term.'

The bank said that 65% of the UK population would still live within four miles of a TSB branch following the closures.

Which bank has closed the most branches?

TSB is not the first bank to announce a huge tranche of closures. At the beginning of this year, Santander announced 140 branch closures in one go. The RBS Group, which includes NatWest, announced almost 259 branch closures in 2018.

Which? Money research has found that at least 3,383 branches have closed in the past five years, shrinking the network by 34% to 6,470.

Even if we include TSB's closures next year, the brand has closed only 27% of its branches, which is less dramatic than most of its major competitors.

RBS closed 74% of its branches in the last five years, NatWest has closed 49%, while HSBC has closed 42%.

We found that Barclays has closed at least 33% of its network, but the bank has refused to share closure information with us from the first half of 2015.

The map below shows you where and when banks have closed branches between January 2015 and August 2019.

Is everyone ready for digital banking?

While online banking is increasingly becoming the new normal, not everyone is as comfortable as others.

Which? research recently found that one in five adults exclusively use non-digital ways to bank, such as branches, ATMs, post offices and telephone banking.

In a nationally representative survey, we found that almost two in five adults would not be confident applying for a loan using digital banking, while just under a third would not be confident setting up a regular payment using a banking website or app.

We've also found that vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those with mobility issues are worst affected when their cash access is reduced.

Gem Turner, who suffers from brittle bones, told us she'd lose her independence if she didn't have access to cash.

'It would be really difficult to do the everyday things that a 25-year-old wants to do,' she said.

You can read Gem's full story here.

Freedom to Pay. Our Way

We're continuing to lobby the government to intervene and protect the UK's banking and cash infrastructure. Measures taken so far have not been enough to halt the rapid decline of banks and cash machines.

Jenny Ross, editor of Which? Money, said: 'The loss of so many branches across the UK will hit communities hard - and there is still a clear demand for access to traditional banking services and cash. Our research has found two thirds of people would find life difficult without convenient access to a branch, while 11 million people lack the confidence to carry out basic banking tasks online.

'If banks want their customers to go online they must ensure they can deliver consistently reliable services - instead of the current rate of regular IT glitches that people endure. The next government should urgently intervene with legislation that protects access to cash as a vital backup and for as long as it is needed.'

You can find out more about our 'Freedom to pay. Our way' campaign and sign the petition calling for better protections on cash access. You can also share your views by joining the discussion at Which? Conversation.