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Embracing digital in the face of bank branch closures

In recent years, the landscape of banking across the globe has undergone significant transformations. Among these many changes, the closure of bank branches on the high street has become a common sight, driven by technological advancements and changing consumer preferences.

As reported in Finextra, over the last few weeks, some of the UK’s biggest banks have announced plans to close additional high street branches across the country. NatWest will close a total of 143 branches this year after announcing plans to close another 36 branches recently. Lloyds Banking Group has revealed plans to close 44 branches, with a total of 155 branch closures this year. And Virgin Money will close over 30% of its bank branches in the coming months.

While the popularity of the bank branch has seen a decline in recent years, accelerated by the pandemic, there is still a need for financial support and advice from banking providers whether it is face-to-face, digitally or both. It’s important that banks of all sizes find innovative ways to deliver human-like relationships digitally, especially if planning on reducing the number of branches available.

The solution lies in offering more personalised financial tools, tips, and insights on their digital channels. Banks can leverage the vast amounts of data they collect to ensure that customers receive tailored advice and services based on their unique financial situations and goals through the digital channels available.

To go beyond replicating in-person experiences, banks should offer their customers:

Personalised insights

By offering personalised and data-driven Personal Financial Management (PFM) features like savings goals and budgeting tools, banks can help customers to stay on track and make effective financial decisions through digital channels.

Financial Literacy Tips

 Banks can enable customers to make informed decisions, while improving their financial literacy through engaging and informative insights into key financial concepts.

Cashflow Forecasts

Banks can provide customers with the tools to make proactive financial decisions and anticipate any challenges before they happen with personalised cashflow forecasts.

But how do you get digitally dis-engaged customers to use digital channels?

While in-app personalisation and financial tools and features can be used to support customers without branches, what about those customers who are not interested in moving online? Banks need to think strategically to ensure that no customer gets left behind. Loyalty campaigns that span online and offline channels can be the key to moving customers to digital channels. Using challenges, gift cards, vouchers and referrals, banks can effectively drive customers online and keep them engaged once they are they.


Going beyond simply replicating in-person experiences online has become much easier to do thanks to the technology and data available. Banks should use the resources available to provide the personalised experiences that customers expect online and to ensure that more vulnerable customers don’t get left behind.



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Olivier Berthier

Olivier Berthier



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03 May 2007



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