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Bank Closures at All Time High

Figures released show that sixty-three bank branches have closed in Madeira and Porto Santo over the last ten years.   In December 2008 there were 151 branches covering both islands while figures show that in December last year only 88 branches were still operating.  A drop of 41%.

However, it is not just Madeira and Porto Santo who are affected.  An article in ‘Live Money’ shows that the number of bank branches has dropped to an all-time low across Portugal since 1995.  Over the last decade over 2,000 branches have closed with Lisbon losing 40% of its banking infrastructure with 600 branches closing. This figure is closely followed by Porto, who has lost more than 400 branches in the last ten years.  A drop of 37.8%.

Many blame the 2008 financial crisis for the reduction in bank branches, while bank failures such as BES and BANIF have contributed to the contraction of the financial network across the country.  Other contributory factors to the eradication of local branches includes easy access on-line banking and perceived lack of demand.

But the fall in figures does not end here as Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD), plans to close another hundred agencies by 2020.

Samantha Gannon

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Madeira Weekly