In the survey of almost 10,000 over-50s, half (50%) said that banks should not be allowed to close local branches and more than a third (37%) said that without access to a high street bank they would be prevented from carrying out many financial transactions.
A further one in five (21%) said they rely on access to a local bank because they don’t bank online and almost a third (31%) said that their next closest branch would be too far to travel.
According to figures from the Consumers Association, 1,046 local bank branches closed in the UK between December 2015 and January 2017. Another 486 are scheduled for closure this year.
People in their 80s felt that a local branch closure would have the most impact on them with more than a third (36%) prepared to switch banks and almost half (48%) saying that most financial transactions would become impossible for them.
Lisa Harris, head of communications for Saga, said: “It is clear that access to a local high street bank is important for the over-50s, particularly for the older generations who are less likely to bank online and more likely to find it difficult to travel further afield.
“Many over-50s will have held an account with the same bank for a number of years and will find the switching process stressful. More needs to be done by the banks to ensure they maintain a high street presence, particularly for their loyal customers.”