Five million over 50s poised to switch banks if their local branch closes

With reports suggesting that almost 500 high street banks are set to close in 2017, research by Saga has revealed that 5.5 million (25%) over 50s will be forced to switch their account if their local branch disappears.

In the survey of almost 10,000 over 50s, half (50%) said that banks should not be allowed to close local branches and more than a third (37%) said that without access to a high street bank they would be prevented from carrying out many financial transactions.

A further one in five (21%) said they rely on access to a local bank because they don’t bank online and almost a third (31%) said that their next closest branch would be too far to travel.

People in their 80s felt that a local branch closure would have the most impact on them with more than a third (36%) prepared to switch banks and almost half (48%) saying that most financial transactions would become impossible for them.

Lisa Harris, head of communications for Saga said:

“It is clear that access to a local high street bank is important for the over 50s, particularly for the older generations who are less likely to bank online and more likely to find it difficult to travel further afield.

“Many over 50s will have held an account with the same bank for a number of years and will find the switching process stressful. More needs to be done by the banks to ensure they maintain a high street presence, particularly for their loyal customers.”

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