Skip to content
Please donate

Face-to-face banking services crucial for older people to live a full and independent life

Published on 08 November 2023 10:58 AM

348 bank branches have closed since 2015 in Wales 

With a rapid programme of bank closures sweeping across Wales, Age Cymru is urging the banking industry to consider the devastating effects such a policy can have on many older people in an open letter to banks and politicians.

Citing a recent Which? report that said 348 bank branches in Wales have closed since 2015 leaving just 211 operating branches, the charity is highlighting that many older people need their local high street bank to make essential financial transactions such as paying household bills, and to access cash so they can balance household budgets during these challenging times. 

Some older people have resorted to asking others to undertake their financial transactions, impacting on privacy and independence.   For many, losing the ability to manage your own financial affairs feels demeaning and it could also leave some older people vulnerable to criminal activity. Being able to seek face-to-face advice in a branch also helps older people become more resilient to scams – the most targeted age group in the UK. 

A recent Audit Wales report Digital inclusion in Wales, March 2023 said nearly a third (32%) of the over 75s in Wales are classified as digitally excluded, meaning online banking services are not an appropriate alternative for many.

And amalgamating several local branches into a larger central operation further afield is also problematic for those older people who do not own a car and are reliant on a dwindling public transport system.

Excluding older people from financial services is also bad for business as many older people would like to discuss investment opportunities to help build a more a secure financial future. 

Age Cymru’s chief executive Victoria Lloyd says “We should view banking services as an essential service like water and electricity.  Banks should consult with local communities when they intend to close a branch and outline the alternatives that are being put in place. 

“We know that some banks have discussed sharing premises to save costs in several Welsh towns, but progress has been painfully slow and is nowhere near keeping up with the closure programme.   

“The banking industry, local authorities, and the Welsh Government must work together with communities to find solutions that enable older people to continue accessing a full range of financial services so they can live a full and independent life.”  

To view our open letter to banks and politicians visit For more information about the campaign call Rhian Morgan on 07944 996943 or email


Last updated: Nov 08 2023

Become part of our story

Sign up today

Back to top