'Banks axed more than 750 branches this year as they continue to abandon the high street.
On average, two shut each day in 2018, leaving some towns and villages with no access to basic financial services.
A total of 774 branches were closed by eight of Britain’s biggest banks, analysis by the Mail has found.
The same lenders got rid of a record 802 in 2017 – and the number owned by the biggest banks has more than halved since its peak two decades ago.
Campaigners said banks were giving up on swathes of the country, cutting vulnerable and elderly people off completely.
Most closures hit small towns, the coast and deprived areas because branches there tend to be less profitable. As a result, customers must travel miles to make deposits or speak to staff, with those who can’t drive hit hardest.
Small firms suffer, too, because they have to shut while owners go to a bank in another town.
Losing the last branch can be fatal for a high street because it gives shoppers a reason not to visit, triggering a drop in footfall.
Labour MP Wes Streeting, who sits on the Commons Treasury committee, said: ‘Branches are closing at an alarming rate, causing real problems – particularly for older people, small businesses and disabled people.
‘Banks provide a crucial public service and bosses must start showing they understand this.’
Mike Cherry, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: ‘The frightening pace of branch closures is damaging local communities, hurting vulnerable consumers and stifling business growth.’
Lenders often hassle customers to sign up for online banking when a branch shuts. But pushing less web-savvy customers into using the internet for sensitive financial transactions can put them at risk of fraud. Caroline Abrahams, of the charity Age UK, said: ‘Closing branches cuts costs, but it’s at best an inconvenience and at worst a serious blow for millions of older people who are not online or au fait with mobile banking.’'
Read more: Almost 800 bank branches close in a year: Campaigners accuse big-eight lenders of giving up on swathes of the UK
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