|EU Banks Shut Down Nearly 5,500 Branches|
Banks operating across the European Union (EU) have closed approximately 5,500 branches in the region during 2012, in a move to trim down operational cost and shore up required capital, as demanded by the financial regulators. Following the latest branch closures, which represents almost 2.5% of the total offices, nearly 218,687 branches, or one for every 2,300 people, are currently operating across the region.
During the financial year 2011, the financial industry witnessed closure of almost 7,200 bank offices, as per the data analyzed by the news agency from European Central Bank statistics. From the emergence of the financial crisis of 2008 to until 2012, the banking industry closed nearly 20,000 offices in the region, representing 8% of the total.
Besides regulatory pressure as well as efforts to increase the profitability of the operations, the implementation of the new online and telephone banking services, has fuelled the trend of reducing the physical presence of the branches.
Greece witnessed 5.7% closure of branches, Spain slashed about 4.9% of its outlets, and Ireland also curtailed its branch network by 3.3%, whereas Italy's banking network stood at 3.1% lesser by the end of the year.
The opinions expressed do not constitute investment advice and specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Published on our website on August 16, 2013