“It also comes at a time when inflation and rising energy bills are squeezing people’s spending power in a way we haven’t seen for a long time, which is again hitting local shops hard.
“The shift to digital banking is irreversible, but so, too, is the damage brought on by banks reducing their presence or opening hours on our high streets.
“Our message to consumers is, if you might have less to spend, spend it properly, not with the web giants but with the local businesses which might be the bedrock of your communities. Without delay, they’re depending in your custom greater than ever.”
The UK’s population of bank branches and ATMs have been significantly reduced, with almost half of bank branches in 2015 now closed.