London — Banks in Britain are set to close a record 762 branches in 2017, depriving more customers of access to in-person financial services as lenders cut costs by pushing business online. The number of branches shut or earmarked for closure so far in 2017 is more than the 583 closed in 2016 and is the most on record, according to a Reuters analysis. Banks and building societies in Britain have been shutting branches at a rate of around 300 per year since 1989, a trend that has accelerated in recent years as lenders respond to pressure on profits by slashing costly brick-and-mortar outlets. Royal Bank of Scotland is set to close 244 branches in 2017, Lloyds Banking Group will shut 195, while HSBC and Barclays will close 117 and 90-100 respectively. That will leave Britain with about 8,000 bank branches by the end of 2017, compared with 17,831 in 1989, according to data from the University of Nottingham. The accelerating pace of closures has caused concern among lawmakers and campai...

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