17 May 2024

Half of young people left frustrated after finding their local branch has closed

  • All age groups concerned by rate of branch closures, new Nationwide research reveals
  • Half (50%) of 16-24s frustrated to find branches closed when they needed them
  • Further proof branches are needed - seven in ten consumers value branches (70%)
  • Nationwide recently extended its Branch Promise until at least the start of 2028


Half of people aged 16 to 24 (50%) have been left frustrated after finding their local branch closed when they needed it, according to new research* from Nationwide. Latest Which? data shows around 6,000 branches have closed across the UK since 2015, with a further 645 earmarked for closure this year**.

The poll of 2,000 people reveals nearly three quarters (73%) of people are concerned about the rate of closures, with around half (48%) frustrated to find a branch closed when they needed it.

The research found 70 per cent of consumers still value branches. Interestingly, when asked why they valued branches, 41 per cent called out the importance for vulnerable people, with more than one in five (21%) 16 to24s also recognising this as a key reason. This figure rises to 28 per cent for 25 to34s and continues to rise with age. 

Nationwide’s research highlights all age groups value the role of branches and that they are used for a range of reasons – not just day-to-day transactions. These include cash withdrawals (44%) and checking balances (28%). People also use branches to transfer large amounts of money (19%) and prefer face-to-face  help on fraud and scams (38%).  The top reasons people aged 25 to34 use branches include paying cash in and taking cash out (35%) checking balances (26%) and transferring large amounts of money (22%).

Nationwide, which has the UK’s biggest branded branch network as a result of large-scale bank branch closures in recent years, conducted the research to show how branches remain valued by people of all ages. The building society recently extended its Branch Promise that means everywhere it has a branch today, it will remain there until at least the start of 2028.

Stephen Noakes, Director of Retail at Nationwide said: “What’s clear from our research is that people of all ages are frustrated and concerned about the rate of branch closures. Our own customers tell us how much they rely on them. This is why we are proud to have Britain’s biggest branded branch network, a manager in every branch and a commitment to stay everywhere we have a branch until at least 2028.”

Notes to editors

* The research was conducted by Censuswide with 2,002 nationally representative UK general respondents between 24.04.24 to 26.04.24. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.

**Bank branch closures: is your local bank closing? - Which?