Customers of the bank could soon be denied their local branch if they attempted to make cash transactions at certain times.
TSB has announced its intention to close its OTC services starting at 4 p.m. across its branch network.
The bank said the move would free up its staff to help clients with more complex queries, such as those applying for mortgages. Customers who require routine banking services after this time, such as transferring cash between accounts, will be advised to use online banking services.
This is the latest blow to bank branch users, after large retailers have cut hundreds of local outlets in recent years. Many have cited the reduction in attendance as a result of the pandemic.
Isabelle Jenkins of PwC said: “Many have long predicted a phasing out of local branches and the use of cash.
“Even before the pandemic, the foundation had been laid to abandon cash; an increase in contactless payments, online transactions and the use of digital currencies.
“But no one could predict how quickly behaviors would change.”
Cash usage fell by more than a third last year, as six million people chose to pay by card or use online banking. Nearly 14 million people used money only once a month, if at all, in 2020, up from just 7.4 million the year before, according to banking organization UK Finance.
Despite this, 1.2 million consumers mainly used cash for their daily expenses in 2020.
However, many are finding it increasingly difficult to do so as banks reduce their branch networks. Since 2015, Britain has lost around a third of its branches at the rate of 55 per month, according to consumer group Which?
Experts said branches that remain open may soon change their model to focus less on day-to-day banking and more on financial advice and other more profitable activities.
Ryan Mathias of Edgar, Dunn & Company, an advisory firm, said: “Banks are moving away from the transactional model of yesteryear and focusing on sales and advisory needs.
“Branches as ‘stores’ have become very popular, where the entire design is designed to have face-to-face human interactions on high-value financial deals,” he said.
HSBC’s Kevin Martin recently said that branches will become more of “lounges”. Mr. Martin said: “Branches will become less of rows of cashiers handling day-to-day transactions, which can now be done online. Agents will be on hand to guide customers through transactions on their own devices. “
HSBC is one of the banks making deep cuts in its network. He announced that 82 branches will close this year, citing the growing trend towards digital banking.
He said the number of customers using in-branch services has fallen by a third in five years and that 90% of all customer interactions have been done by phone or the internet.
MPs and campaign groups have repeatedly called on banks to slow down their closure plans. The battle to preserve the remaining branches was a priority for MPs even before the pandemic, as elderly customers, who do not use online banking, fear being cut off from their money.
A survey by the Financial Conduct Authority, the city’s watchdog, found that 16% of vulnerable adults depended on cash. Dependence on money was highest among retirees over 85.
If banks continue to close branches at their current rates, they will disappear from Main Street altogether by 2032, according to a study by Ask Traders, a consultancy firm.