Maintaining a banking presence in the face of branch closures
Banks throughout Europe, the United States and Australia are feeling the pinch due to low interest rates and slow-growth economies. These pressures are forcing banks to take action and drastically cut their business costs.
Meanwhile, digitalization has seen more and more customers choose the convenience of banking online instead of going to the bank branch. So it’s hardly surprising that many banks believe the obvious answer is to slash the number of bank branches, with those in rural and remote areas often the first to go.
The figures speak for themselves: European Union banks closed 9,100 branches last year; in the United States more than 10,000 have shut since 2008, with over 860 going in the first half of 2017 alone. The decline is less marked in Australia, where banks, building society and credit union branch numbers fell by 315 to 5904 in the year to June 2016, but even there no-one’s denying that the future trend will be for fewer branches, not more.