U.K. Online Banking of 1 Billion Pounds Daily Shutters Branches

U.K. consumers make as much as 1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) of personal banking transfers using the Internet each day, as they move away from branch-based transactions, the British Bankers’ Association said.

“Many people will want to do those day-to-day transactions from the palm of their hands,” Anthony Browne, chief executive officer of the BBA, which represents the U.K.’s biggest banks, said in a report. “It’s far faster than taking time out of their busy lives to visit a branch.”

Barclays Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc have been shuttering bank branches that come with a higher operating cost than running online services. The closures are seen as controversial by some consumer groups and lawmakers.

About 77 percent of bank customers in the U.K. use online or mobile banking services at least once a month, according to a poll of consumers surveyed in June by YouGov for the BBA.

Bank branches are still important to customers who want to make bigger transactions, such as a mortgage or loan application, according to the report.

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