5.5M over 50s poised to switch banks if their local branch closes

Wednesday 3 May 2017

  • Half said that banks should not be allowed to close local branches
  • A quarter will be forced to switch banks if their local branch closes
  • More than a third would not be able to carry out many financial transactions
  • Almost a third said their next closest bank would be too far to travel

With reports suggesting that almost 500 high street banks are set to close in 2017, research by Saga1 has revealed that 5.5M (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 commented:

“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.”  


1 Populus interviewed 9,482 Saga respondents, all aged 50+ online between 18 and 24 April 2017. Data was weighted to be nationally representative. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information www.populus.co.uk

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