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Britain's largest banks are disproportionately closing branches in the lowest-income areas while expanding in wealthier ones, taking bricks-and-mortar services away from communities where they are arguably needed most, an analysis by Reuters shows. HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group are among banks that have cut 600 branches from April 2015 to April 2016 . More than 90 percent of the closures were in areas where the median household income is below the British average of 27,600 pounds ($39,000), according to an analysis of Office for National Statistics data on average incomes in the locations where branches were closed.Taxpayer-owned RBS has closed the most branches overall in the last year and is responsible for more than one in every three branch closures among the top four banks.Lenders are expected to accelerate the closure of branches because of new technology and cost-cutting; a study by investment bank UBS published in January predicted half of Britain's branches may disappear in the next five years.
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