‘Customers still want branches and passbooks’ says Yorkshire Building Society

Yorkshire Building Society

The building society's research is evidence that bank branch closures and passbook scrapping may not be universally popular

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 23/01/2024

- 12:33

Updated: 23/01/2024

- 12:37

Half a million Yorkshire Building Society customers used passbooks for their savings accounts at a branch last year

Britons “still value” traditional banking methods such as local branches and passbooks, according to new research.

Yorkshire Building Society has published analysis into the thoughts of customers amid a wave of bank branch closures.

A survey of 2,000 Britons showed that many people choose to operate their finances by visiting their local branch.

While the majority opt to manage their money online (57 per cent) or through an app (47 per cent), 22 per cent said they prefer going to in-person banking services.

Lloyds Bank logo outside bank branch

Banks, including Lloyds, have closed local branches in recent years


This figure rises to 31 per cent for those aged over 55 with more than a quarter of adults in the UK claiming they visit their local branch at least once a month.

Based on the survey results, Yorkshire Building Society claims providing customers with the ability to transact through their channel of choice is popular with the public.

The building society’s data show more than 500,000 customers used passbooks for their savings accounts at a branch last year.

These paper books are a physical record of money which is either paid into or taken out of a savings account, and are commonly associated with older people.

However, Yorkshire’s research shows 16 per cent of Britons still hold a passbook with that figure increasing to 27 per cent for those aged 18 to 34.

Some 27 per cent of people would prefer to see information from someone face-to-face compared to those who prefer websites or a bank’s app at 36 and 27 per cent, respectively.

Research also highlights 26 per cent of savers cite having the option of a local bank branch is an important factor when shopping around for a savings provider.

Chris Irwin, the director of savings at Yorkshire Building Society, claimed helping with boost their savings is a “key part” of the financial institution’s purpose.

Barclays logo at bank branchBarclays has announced more bank branch closures PA

He explained: “As this research shows, offering customers a choice of access is vitally important.

“Digital adoption has understandably sped up as a quick and easy alternative to face-to-face contact, especially during recent years.

“But, we know a large amount of people still value in-branch banking and physical records.

“Making savings accessible for our customers in a way that best suits them, be that in one of our branches, online or via our app, supports our aim to continue to provide real help to our customers and members.”

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