Young Brits champion digital banking trend over traditional branches

Young Brits champion digital banking trend over traditional branches

The new generation of UK bank users are turning away from traditional brick-and-mortar banks in favour of digital banking, leading a major shift across Europe.

Research suggests only one in five young Brits would now opt for a bank based on the proximity of a physical branch, a stark contrast to their counterparts in Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Spain who still prioritise a nearby bank.

A recent study commissioned by CRIF, a frontrunner in European digital transformation for financial services, highlights this divergence. Findings demonstrate that just 21% of the UK’s 18-34 year-old demographic would factor in physical proximity of a bank branch, compared to 42% of young Italians, 33% of the French, 32% in Germany, 31% in Austria and 30% in Spain.

Amplifying the shift towards digital banking in the UK, 26% of young Brits expressed a preference for banks providing detailed spending analysis, while an equal proportion (23%) favoured banks offering in-app access to credit scores. A fifth of the respondents also wanted digital submission of documentation and information, rather than in-person or postal submissions.

In contrast, for the age group of 35 and over, the proximity of a physical bank branch remained a top criterion in the UK. The cost of living crisis, leaving 33% of young Brits with less money each month, is leading to a stronger desire to comprehend their financial situation better. As a result, 45% of young Brits are willing to share more financial data if it could facilitate better expenditure tracking, easier saving and aid with credit or loan applications.

Sarah Costantini, regional director for the UK & Ireland at CRIF said, “While the cost of living crisis is undeniably contributing, a trend is unfolding with UK’s young generation leading the European charge towards digital and online banking methods. Banks and lenders must adjust to these evolving consumer preferences and recognise the increasing readiness of consumers to share financial data for better financial management.”

The data collected forms a part of CRIF’s forthcoming 2023 ‘Banking on Banks’ report.

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