Opinion Former Article

CDF: CIC supports new research confirming Britain’s poorest communities hardest hit by bank closures

New study confirms that deprived communities are disproportionately affected by bank closures, which CIC is campaigning to address.

New research from the University of Nottingham has found that some of Britain’s poorest communities have been hit the hardest by the thousands of bank and building society closures across the country.

‘The Changing Geography of British Bank and Building Society Branch networks, 2003 -2012’ has found that almost 7,500 bank and building society branches closed in the period 1989 to 2012, which amounts to over 40% of all branches.

The areas with the above average rates of closure between 1995 and 2012 were Britain’s least affluent inner city areas, multicultural metropolitan areas and traditional manufacturing areas. And since 2003 traditional manufacturing areas have lost branches at a rate 3.5 times higher than suburbs and small towns.

Dr Shaun French, of the University’s School of Geography, said:

“Branches in less affluent areas have continued to disappear at an alarming rate. This is causing a highly uneven geography of financial provision across the country and we are seeing fewer facilities in areas with high levels of unemployment.

“This can have other implications particularly for people on lower-incomes, who may approach more predatory forms of institutions in the absence of a bank. This uneven spread of branches now needs to be addressed by the Government in order to prevent a further divide.”

Jennifer Tankard from the Community Investment Coalition (CIC) said:

“We are campaigning for access to fair finance for all households, business and communities. Bank branches play a critical role in helping people to access financial services.

“This report highlights that yet again it is deprived communities who are being hit hardest as banks effectively withdraw from serving all communities in the UK”.

Download ‘The Changing Geography of British Bank and Building Society Branch networks, 2003 -2012’

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For further information please contact:

Report: Charlotte Anscombe on 0115 7484417 or charlotte.anscombe@nottingham.ac.uk.

CIC: Jennifer Tankard on 0207 812 5430 or jennifer.tankard@cdf.org.uk.

Notes to Editors
The Community Investment Coalition (CIC) is a partnership of national organisations, which aims to increase access to affordable finance for all communities.

Membership includes the Community Development Foundation (CDF), the Centre of Responsible Credit (CfRC), the New Economics Foundation (nef), CCLA and CDFA.

We are calling on:

Government to create a level playing field so that the community investment sector can compete on fair terms with high street banks;
Banks to invest in communities and the community investment organisations that serve them; and
The community investment sector to step up its scale and reach.
Visit the Community Investment Coalition website for further information.

- See more at: http://www.cdf.org.uk/?news-item=community-investment-coalition-supports-new-research-confirming-britain%e2%80%99s-poorest-communities-are-hardest-hit-by-bank-closures#sthash.ol5Ki3DI.dpuf

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