Lloyds group to close 56 more branches across UK this year

Rupert Jones
Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

Lloyds Banking Group is closing 56 more branches this year, blaming “changing customer behaviour” for the decision.

The group will shut 31 Lloyds, 10 Halifax and 15 Bank of Scotland branches between April and October this year.

Many of the big banks have been slashing their networks on the grounds that customers are spurning traditional branch counter service in favour of doing their banking online and via mobile phones.

However, the consumer organisation Which? said: “The loss of yet more branches to an already devastated network will hit communities across the UK hard, as there is still a clear demand for access to traditional banking services and cash.”

Related: Should we really care about bank branch closures?

It is understood the Lloyds group has closed a net 655 branches since 2010.

A bank spokesperson said: “We are committed to having the largest branch network in the UK and, in addition to our branches, all our customers can also use the Post Office to access their banking locally, alongside our mobile branches which visit many rural communities.” The bank said the latest cuts were in response to “changing customer behaviours and the reduced number of transactions being made in branches”.

The bank said it would aim to avoid compulsory redundancies by seeking redeployment in the first instance and then offering voluntary redundancy.

In recent years, Lloyds Banking Group has been reorganising its branch network. It has shrunk some of its existing high street outlets and turned them into “micro-branches” that do not have traditional counters. At the same it has unveiled large flagship branches with facilities such as an in-house coffee shop and dedicated business hub.