UK banks to rethink branch closures during lockdown

Friday 29 January 2021 11:29 CET | News

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has told banks to rethink moves to close branches during lockdown, according to

The FCA said banks should consider the impact of national restrictions on their ability to comply with regulatory guidance on closing branches. The authority released a statement today urging banks to consult any customers that are affected directly. The FCA is concerned that these activities could have significant consequences for customers and that it may be harder than usual to reach all customers under the current restrictions and engage with them on closure proposals effectively.

In January 2021 HSBC revealed plans to close 82 branches across the UK after a drop in footfall across its retail network and a surge in digital banking. The FCA are concerned that closures could have significant consequences for customers, particularly those needing in-branch services and without access to online banking.

The authority expects firms to ensure vulnerable and hard-to-reach customers are aware of the proposals and to deliver clear alternatives during this period of national restrictions. Where appropriate, the FCA encouraged banks to engage with customers to understand their needs and properly consider the individual impacts of closures.

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Keywords: UK, banks, branch closure, lockdown, FCA, Financial Conduct Authority, restrictions, guidance, regulation, online banking, digital banking
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: United Kingdom
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Banking & Fintech

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