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Fintech is killing off the UK high street bank

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Fintech has been so disruptive that it forced UK banks to start closing their high street branches at a rapid rate, new research has found. 

According to a Which? report for PA media, almost half of all UK banks branches have been shut, or are planned for closure, since 2015. That’s a total of 4,735 branches in the past six years – and of that number, more than 15% (736 branches) have closed in 2021 alone.

Another 221 branches are scheduled for closure next year, the watchdog added, as online payment options take precedence for many.

Trouble for cash lovers

In 2019, 444 branches were shut down, while in 2020, the number was 369. While many, already used to the convenience of online payments and mobile banking, may say, “good riddance”, not everyone can find their way around the digital realm, and still rely on cash. 

This rings particularly true for the older population, but smaller businesses as well, who often get paid in cash and need a place nearby to deposit the earnings.

Multiple organizations are entering the fray, to solve the problem. Banks are creating hubs – shared spaces where people can come and conduct basic banking businesses. Post offices have agreed to allow people to do their everyday banking over their counters, and the government is looking to bring new legislation which will regulate the use of cash.

Still, software is eating the world of finance. A recent Innovate Finance report has shown that investors poured in $5.5 billion into UK fintech firms in the first half of the year, up 34% year-on-year. The UK remains one of the global leaders in the industry. 

Via: City AM

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