In a speech at the Retail Banking Conference in London, Charles Randell, chair at the FCA (pictured above), addressed the topics of bank branch closures, the reduction in the use of cash and the online banking trend.
Charles spoke about the town of Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, which faces “economic challenges”, retains a “big cash economy” and is claimed to be the first town of its size (population: 22,000) to have no bank branch and no free-to-use ATMs.
He said that between 2012 and 2017, the UK lost over 3,000 (nearly a quarter) of its bank and building society branches.
Despite this, Charles stated that the big picture didn’t look too bad.
“…Region by region, branch closures have been fairly evenly spread.
“People may not be using as much cash, but they are interacting with their money more than ever before.”
He added that mobile banking, cashless transactions and a range of other technological developments “may mean a wonderful life for some people”, but “for some time to come, others will need access to cash or bank branches”.
“The time to face up to these issues is now."
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