Banks 'to vanish from high streets'

High stOne fifth of Britons have not set foot inside their bank for at least two years, research suggests.

Almost half (49%) of those surveyed by discount website MyVoucherCodes believe that bank branches will have vanished from the high street in 10 years' time as internet banking continues to gain popularity.

Of the 19% consumers who had not visited their bank for two or more years, most said they had no need to do so, while a fifth said they had sent someone to their branch on their behalf.

Three-fifths (61%) of people across the survey said they use internet banking, while more than one third (36%) had a banking app downloaded on to their mobile phone.

Some 48% of almost 1,400 people surveyed said they sometimes use telephone banking.

The survey comes after research into banking habits recently published by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which is looking at how competition can be stepped up to make current account-switching easier.

The OFT found that almost half of customers regularly go online to do their banking while only one in six people routinely visit their banks.

As more people choose to bank online and use their mobiles, the Payments Council is working on an industry-wide scheme which will enable people to transfer cash as easily as texting, which will be up and running from spring next year.

The council is also introducing changes to make it easier for people to switch current accounts from this autumn, which will mean that the time it takes to fully change accounts will be cut from around 18 days to seven working days.

Despite significant numbers of people saying they had not visited their bank for years, the MyVoucherCodes research also found that one third (32%) of people had gone into their bank within the last week.

High Street casualties

High Street casualties
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