Lloyds Banking Group shuts another 45 bank branches including 22 Halifax, 19 Lloyds and four Bank of Scotland – taking total closures in 2023 to 623 in blow to Britain’s high street

Lloyds Banking Group has been hit by more than 300 million pounds of suspected fraud linked to COVID-19 pandemic-era recovery loans for small businesses, the highest among big bank peers, according to government data.

Lloyds Banking Group is shutting another 45 bank branches across its network amid the ongoing shift away from high street banking.

The group is shutting 22 Halifax branches, 19 Lloyds branches and four in the Bank of Scotland business.

The latest closures now bring the total number of high street branches closed across the sector to 623 so far this year.

It comes just a week after NatWest Group said it plans to close another 19 branches, mostly in the early part of next year.

Lloyds is set to close the bulk of the branches in March and April next year, with some also closing in August and a tranche in November.

It means that at least 276 branches will be shut across Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland this year and next.

The largest number of closures announced this year have been Barclays branches, with the bank saying 185 of its sites are set to shut.

Lloyds is second with 131, followed by NatWest with 116, Halifax with 94, Virgin Money with 40, Bank of Scotland with 32, Ulster Bank with 10, TSB with nine, Royal Bank of Scotland with five, and one Nationwide branch.

All NatWest sites will close in either the latter part of February or early March, the bank said.

Three of the Natwest sites are in London, while others include Redcar, Bradford, Birmingham, Maldon and Dudley.

There has been a massive exodus of branches from the high street in recent years, with 578 closing this year alone.

NatWest said: ‘Most of our customers are shifting to mobile and online banking.’ But it added that it was working to make sure people weren’t ‘left behind’ when branches close.

The one RBS branch that is set to close is on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow, though it will stay open until November 19 next year.

The largest number of closures announced this year have been Barclays branches, with 185 of its sites set to shut.