PwC: 1,400 banks close over 5 years to become more strategic

By Georgia Wilson
PwC reports the closure of 1,400 bank branches in the last five years, as organisations look to make their operations more strategic...

In research conducted by PwC the company reported that a total of 1,400 banks or building societies have closed in the last five years, with 235 alone closed in the first half of 2020. In comparison to 222 closures in 2019, PwC indicates that the shift is driven by consumers searching online for the best possible deal or products. 

PwC reports that the figures come as shop closures significantly rise, with over twice as many closures in the first half of 2020 compared to 2019. In a report made by Local Data Company and PwC UK the data indicated that while 5,119 shops have opened so far in 2020, 11,120 chain operator outlets have closed creating a decline of 6,001, almost double the decline in 2019. 

“It’s great to see that banks are aware of customers’ behavioural changes and that they are implementing new strategies to provide an optimal service for all. Whilst the future of face-to-face banking is unclear, whatever happens, banks need to put customers at the heart of their strategy as they look to respond to changing customer behaviours, wants and needs,” commented Isabelle Jenkins, banking and capital markets leader, at Pwc.

“Whilst revisiting their branch strategy over the coming week and months, they also need to consider their real estate strategy. For example, as remote working becomes increasingly popular, some innovative banks will look to create regional hubs at certain branches to ensure all are purposeful and accessible to the people who need them most.”

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