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Bank branch closures on the rise

The number of bank and building society branches has fallen by around 11 per cent in the past five years, according to a report by local information website Closures mean that the number of branches in the UK has fallen from 11,640 five years ago to 10,423 today, a ratio of just 1.88 branches per 10,000 people. Banks are, in part, closing branches to cut costs, but a rise in popularity of internet banking has also spurred on the trend.Despite what the majority of people believe, the majority of closures have been in urban areas, rather than the country. London has seen the biggest decline - with the number of branches falling by almost a fifth.There has not been a rise in the number of branches in any region, but the reduction has been the slowest in East Anglia, with a drop of 5.8 per cent. Tony Martin, chairman of, said: "We hear a lot about closure of banks and post offices in rural areas, but that's something of an urban myth. "In fact, the axe has been wielded much more enthusiastically in metropolitan areas like London, the Midlands and North West, where it is easier to rationalise. "Overall banks have generally been quite good at keeping a banking presence in, or not too far from, smaller rural communities."

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