(Alliance News) - Lloyds Banking Group PLC is shutting another 45 branches across its network and the Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands amid the ongoing shift away from high street banking.

The group is closing 22 Halifax branches, 19 Lloyds branches and four in the Bank of Scotland business.

Lloyds stressed that all affected branch staff will be offered other roles at another branch or in a different part of the business, with no compulsory redundancies planned.

It comes just a week after NatWest Group PLC said it plans to shut another 19 branches, mostly in the early part of next year.

The latest closures take the total number of high street branches shut across the sector to 623 so far this year.

Lloyds is set to close the bulk of the branches in March and April next year, with some also closing in August and a tranche in November.

It means that at least 276 branches will be shut across Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland this year and next.

The closures announced will leave the group with 515 Lloyds Bank branches, 413 Halifax and 133 Bank of Scotland sites.

There has been a massive exodus of branches from the high street in recent years.

The largest number of closures announced this year have been Barclays branches, with the bank saying 185 of its sites are set to shut.

Lloyds is second with 131, followed by NatWest with 116, Halifax with 94, Virgin Money with 40, Bank of Scotland with 32, Ulster Bank with 10, TSB with nine, Royal Bank of Scotland with five, and one Nationwide branch.

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesman said: "The way customers choose to bank with us has changed rapidly in recent years, and we now offer a wide range of options for their everyday banking needs.

"This includes our mobile app, online and over the phone.

"Customers can also bank with us through the Post Office, in a Banking Hub, or by speaking to a Community Banker."

Lloyds shares were 0.1% lower at 43.40 pence each on Thursday morning in London.

By Holly Williams, PA Business Editor

Press Association: Finance

source: PA

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