Will Basel III destroy high street banking as we know it? 1

The headline in the Sunday Express Financial Section today was ‘Bank branches in closure threat’

The article explains how new bank regulation called Basel III will be introduced next year requiring banks to hold higher levels of capital, in fact its billions of extra pounds of capital that will be needed. The main banks plan to sell branches to generate the money they need to comply with the new regulations.

2000 bank branches have closed in the last decade and this year 200 branches are expected to close.

The main banks plan move more services online according to the Sunday Express.

The story was highlight by the Daily Mirror earlier this year

http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/city-news/banks-closing-in-uk-at-rate-of-more-786520

Big banks are set to close more than two branches EVERY WEEK – leaving us with the lowest number since the Second World War.

Derek French, of the CCBS, said he was most concerned about the closures by HSBC, Barclays and NatWest, as in many cases the doomed branch will be the last in the area.

He said: “Branch closures have a significant impact on communities. Businesses nearby – pharmacists, butchers, greengrocers – can see turnover drop by 5% to 30% through the lost knock-on trade.”

Do you think it matters? when did you last visit your local branch? could you do all your banking on line?

steve@bicknells.net