BANKS branches remain open during England’s third national coronavirus lockdown but some locations have reduced opening hours.
You can also still access many banking services online or over the phone and this may be a better idea than visiting in person unless your problem is urgent.
High street banks can remain open but check ahead for opening times
Many shops and services are shut during the latest lockdown which is expected to last until mid-February – but banks are considered an essential service and can stay open.
Some banking services are available in Post Offices which are also allowed to stay open.
Here’s how you can do your banking at branches and the alternatives to going in person at all the major high street banks.
Barclays branches remain open during England’s lockdown.
During previous lockdowns, the bank said it will remain open “wherever possible” for urgent and essential banking.
Customers should only to visit branches if they can’t wait so it can help those who need it most.
Some branches may be closed or have reduced hours so it’s worth checking ahead if you do need to go in person.
You can use Barclays branch finder to check and it suggests checking each time you go in case things have changed since you were last there.
If you do need to go to a Barclays branch, there are safety measures in place, including social distancing measures, plastic screens and regular hand washing.
You can do a lot of your banking online, via the Barclays website or app, including getting statements, managing transfers and even paying in cheques.
Telephone banking is also an option and you can also contact the bank in a number of ways to get help, including over the phone and live chat, but be aware wait times may be long.
Branches of HSBC remained open during the previous lockdowns and most locations are likely to stay open this time round too but opening hours and the services available may be limited.
Current branch hours are either 10am-4pm or 10am-2pm and you can check your local branch opening times and any changes using the HSBC branch finder.
You can bank online or with the HSBC app instead of going into a branch.
If you are heading into branch you must wear a face mask unless exempt.
For customer service help you can use the app, live chat online or call the bank directly.
The bank says its phone lines are extremely busy and wait times are longer than normal, with priority being given to those who need help urgently or who are directly affected by coronavirus.
NatWest and RBS
NatWest and RBS, which are both owned by the same parent company, are likely to continue to keep their branches open.
During previous lockdowns, the bank asked customers to visit only if it’s critical and they are not able to use the NatWest or RBS app or online banking instead.
Before the announcement, both banks said the majority of branches are open between 10am and 3pm, but check before you travel for the latest opening hours for NatWest and RBS.
Mobile branches, where staff visit different locations to offer services, were paused during the last lockdowns.
You can do tasks like transferring money, paying bills and viewing statements online and on the app and help with banking online is available via webchat and messaging.
You can phone NatWest and RBS too but the banks are warning customers that lines are very busy and asking that people only call when “absolutely critical”.
Video banking is also available for those who can’t make it to a branch.
NatWest has a bunch of information and resources online to help, including for people with caring responsibilities, how to manage work changes, support for those over 70 in extended isolation and those struggling financially.
And RBS is offering this same guidance too.
Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland
Branches of Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, which are all owned by the same parent company, all remained open during previous lockdowns.
It is likely to stay open during this lockdown too but there may be changes to opening times or temporary closures at your local branch so its best to check ahead first before going there.
Anyone visiting branches will have to follow social distancing guidelines, wear a face covering unless exempt and you may also have to wait outside if it’s busy.
You can do a lot of banking online or via your bank’s app to avoid going into a branch.
There is also telephone banking, but each of the banks are asking customers to avoid this unless it’s urgent, so those who most need it are able to get through.
Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland also have more resources online for support, including help with money worries support for the vulnerable and more.