New research by Which? revealed that branch closures have touched a rate of 60 per month in UK bank resulting into significant difficulties for the people to access all financial services.

The research encompasses bank branch closure data since 2015.

During this period, around 2,868 branches have closed or are scheduled to shut down by the end of this year.

The research has also revealed that the rate of closures have increased since 2016.

Last year, 879 branches were closed, while 670 branches have closed or are scheduled for closure this year till date.

Which? money expert Gareth Shaw said: “Bank branch closures are happening at an alarming rate – with almost 60 shutting every month – stripping customers and communities of access to the financial services they need.

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“While the decision is clearly a commercial one for a bank to take, it is also crucial that banks do recognise the needs of their customers and the communities they serve, before simply shutting their doors –  and their customers out.”

The research found Scotland to be the worst affected region across the UK with 368 branches to close by the end of this year from 2015.

Scotland is followed by South East (361), the North West (353) and South West (327).

Among the banking entities, Natwest (638) closed the maximum number of branches, followed by HSBC (440), Lloyds (366) and RBS (350).

Which? stated that though post offices and mobile banking trucks that visit towns and villages are the alternatives for the consumers, they do not provide all forms of financial services that a bank branch offers.