The trend for mobile and online banking continues to take its toll on physical bank branches and staff numbers, with new figures from the European Banking Federation showing an ongoing decline across the bloc.
In its annual update on the European banking scene, the EBF reports that European banks culled almost 6000 branches in 2017, down 3.1% over the previous year.
In total, the EU is now host to 183,000 bank branches, a 21% fall on the numbers evident ten years ago, with Spanish banks leading the way, culling over 18,000 branches in the past decade.
States the EBF: "This partly reflects the increasing use of digital banking by consumers as more than half of EU individuals used internet banking in 2017 up from 29% in 2008."
Staffing levels have also been hit, reflecting a tightening of costs controls in the decade since the financial crisis and the ongoing advance of technology.
By end-2017, EU-28 banks employed about 2.7 million people, about 40,000 fewer than in 2016 and the lowest level since the ECB’s data series began in 1997.