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Lloyds and NatWest groups plan 81 new bank closures

Two of the UK’s biggest banking groups have announced plans to make big cuts to their branch networks this year, cutting more than 80 sites from around the country.

Lloyds Group and NatWest Group have said that the sites in England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man will close between July and November this year.

The 81 branches which are slated for closure include four from Bank of Scotland, nine Halifax, 26 Lloyds, 40 NatWest and two Royal Bank of Scotland. The announcement was made on Wednesday.

It means that in the first three months of this year banks have earmarked 213 sites for closure across the country, with NatWest (63) and Barclays (58) closing the most.

Nationwide, TSB and Virgin Money have also announced a small number of closures each.

The banks are cutting back on their branches simply because they are not being used like they used to be.

An increasingly large proportion of customers choose instead to bank from the comfort of their own homes, using their smartphones or computers to manage their money, rather than travelling to a branch and waiting in a queue.

But for those with less access to technology, often older people, the closure of local branches can present additional challenges – increasing the distance they need to travel to deal with cash.