The UK has lost 40% of its bank and building society branches since 1989, according to new research.
The study, by Nottingham University, revealed that 7,500 branches had been closed across the UK between 1989 and 2012, equating to a 40% drop.
It was also revealed that poorer communities have borne the brunt of closures, with banks and building societies shutting shop in areas with high unemployment rates at a faster pace than more affluent regions.
"Branches in less affluent areas have continued to disappear at an alarming rate. This is causing a highly uneven geography of financial provision across the country and we are seeing less facilities in areas with high levels of unemployment," said Dr Shaun French, of the university's School of Geography.
"This can have other implications particularly for people on lower-incomes, who may approach more predatory forms of institutions in the absence of a bank. This uneven spread of branches now needs to be addressed by the Government in order to prevent a further divide."
Meanwhile, HSBC announced yesterday that it will be shutting five branches across its UK network, adding to the four it has already closed so far this year and over 200 branches it has shut down in the last three years.
It is believed a further 20 closure announcements will be made before October.
The bank said the closures are due to customers not using them as often as they once did.
The branches due to be closed are located in Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire, Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria, Highcliffe in Dorset, Almondbury in West Yorkshire, and Cudworth in South Yorkshire.
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