In Europe, there are more and more bank branches being closed. German experts from Deutsche Bank Research reported that in 2012, across the continent, 5.5 thousand branches were closed, including 1.6 thousand in Germany. About half of Germans use online banking.
- Northern Europe
A relatively small number of branches in relation to the amount of residents. Today, for every thousand of residents of Sweden, there is about 0.2 of a banking facility, and it is even less in the UK or the Netherlands. Scandinavians prefer to use online banking. According to PR News: “In 2010, online banking services were used by 83 per cent of Norwegians, 76 per cent of Finns and three quarters of Swedes. The Dutch, Danes, and Estonians are equally enthusiastic about the new technology. In these countries, the effects of changing habits of customers can be clearly seen – branches land on the scrap heap.”
- Central Europe
A very fast-growing market; here, the number of bank branches has been showing an upward trend for several years.
Deutsche Bank experts suggest this region is a place where banks use modern technologies very effectively and unusual operating modes. Intensive development of Internet banking technology and awareness of alternative forms of contact with the bank give first indications of decreasing number of branches.
“According to experts, the role of a bank branch remains leading in countries such as Romania and Bulgaria” – PR News
- Southern Europe
This region is the most committed to bank branches. For example, in Portugal and Italy, the ratio is 0.6, which is three times higher than in Scandinavia. Until the outbreak of the crisis, in Spain, there was one facility per 1000 people. At present, banks in the region tend to reduce the number of branches. However, residents of southern Europe have a strong habit of visiting their bank branches. In Italy, the percentage of clients using Internet banking is around 20. It is four times less than in Scandinavia.