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Get Creative with Our Top Direct Mail Examples

Direct mail is hitting the headlines for all of the right reasons in 2018. This form of marketing can place your message directly in the home of your prospects. Email marketing may be successful on its own merit, but it’s not tangible, and recent reports suggest consumers respond better to brands using direct mail. With that in mind, Washington Direct Mail – leading UK mailing house – have been scouring the web for the best direct mail examples, and are sharing their favourites.

  1. World Water Day

World Water Day is an annual event celebrated every March. The day is designed to place focus on those without access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. To demonstrate the importance of water, and how we would suffer without, the corporation behind the event provided some of the most innovative direct mail. The message, sent out to press and targeted consumers, could only be seen when held under water.

  1. Candle Box, Earth Hour

To mark Earth Hour, the firm produced an innovative piece of direct mail that will go down in their history. The mailing featured a black box, designed to mirror the exterior of an office building. Inside, they placed a yellow candle that, when pulled out, replicated turning off the lights. In response to their genius marketing, company support of the ‘switch off’ increased by a staggering 260%.

  1. Free Kit Kat Chunky in the Post, Nestlé

You should all remember where you were the day Nestlé launched the Kit Kat Chunky. Sending out a Royal Mail-inspired ‘we’re sorry we couldn’t deliver your parcel’ card through specific consumer doors to promote the chunkiness of the bar. The campaign encouraged people to collect their free chocolate bar at their local newsagent, using this card. Due to this, the sales for the bar topped their estimates, and it’s still one of their more popular products today.

  1. Recyclable Helmet, Smart

Smart’s most famous direct mail campaign had two objectives: promote their new range of e-friendly bikes and encourage cyclists to wear helmets. They succeeded on both. Smart’s mail involved the consumer crafting a helmet from recycled cardboard, causing a sensation on social media.

  1. DNA Box, Jeep

To further encourage the tagline ‘Freedom, Adventure, Authenticity and Passion’ and to ‘Go Anywhere, Do Anything’, Jeep created a DNA box. This box promoted the versatility of their brand-new Cherokee Line, with the kit embodying the spirit of the Jeep. For example, the box included a clock for ‘anytime’ and a compass for ‘anywhere’. Alongside those items, they placed test tubes containing elements of nature for freedom, adventure, authenticity and passion. Subsequently, 76% of new customers went to test the Cherokee.

  1. Macbeth, The Theatre Academy

Everyone responds well to McDonald’s, and The Theatre Academy tapped into the brand’s popularity. They sent out paper bags, emblazoned with a huge M in the style of the recognisable arches, to promote the showing of Macbeth. It’s also a relatively cost-effective method of communication, using produced paper bags.

  1. Mis-Fortune Cookies, Hell Pizza

Everyone has read a fortune cookie in their time. Hell Pizza decided it was time to turn the tables and created ‘mis-fortune cookies’. These cookies included darker messages for prospects, such as ‘Help! I am being held in a Chinese bakery’, and even featured expiry dates from 10 years ago. As the concept became so successful, Hell Pizza began selling the cookies in all of their 66 restaurants.

  1. Stadium Shoe Box, Nike

Nike wanted to encourage children to take up athletics, and created a relatively budget-friendly campaign. Shoeboxes were sent out to targeted consumers, with each box designed to replicate the look, and sound, of the inside of a stadium when opened.

  1. Tomato Splat, LavOnline

Promoting their laundry business, Tomato Splat sent out direct mailing to people who do not, typically, employ laundry services – including young professionals and managers. The mail, or box, took the form of a white shirt when opened, with a tomato placed in the middle. The consumers were asked to ‘splat’ the tomato on the shirt. In response, website traffic increased by 15% and 32% of prospects even signed up online.

  1. 3D Hologram Prism, Google Partners

All Google Partners received a holographic prism to assemble. The mailing provided a set of instructions to build, so you could watch a YouTube video and place the prism on top of your phone screen. The holographic video demonstrated hidden mobile tips for your site and how to improve speed on mobile etc. The successful campaign experienced great response across social media.

If there’s one thing you can take away from these examples, it’s that to expand your customer base; you must get creative.

NME Terminates Print After 66 Years

NME, the longest standing music publication in the world, has announced it is ceasing magazine publication after more than 60 years. The magazine that has seen music royalty grace the covers has experienced a rapid decline in readers, and is now adapting to survive in the digital age. With the enormous growth of mobile and consumers digesting news from their handheld devices, we have witnessed the demise of newspaper and magazine publications. Business Rescue Experts, leading insolvency practitioners in the UK, are discussing NME terminating print publications and what it may mean for the future of the industry.

NME is world-famous as the world’s longest standing music magazine – initially established in 1952. NME changed the face of the music industry, appealing to their target market of men in their late teens and twenties. However, as their popularity grew, so did their readership, going on to become 63% male and 37% female.

As the print industry experienced a boom, so did NME. At peak popularity, NME was generating over £1 million a week and boasted 400,000 subscribers. To continue to move with the times, NME launched their website in 1996, branching into more cultural and topical areas. In 2008, the headline ‘mobile to overtake fixed internet access in 2014’ was a bold prediction. Today, 70% of consumers spend their media time on their smartphone. This change in the market led to NME dropping to just 15,000 subscribers in 2015, with a corresponding slump in advertising spend.

NME took note of the change and converted the magazine to a free publication in September 2015, prompting a surge in subscribers – up to 300,000. They began relying on advertising revenue instead of sales revenue, providing temporary relief to the decline in the print industry.

In the past several years, NME was also acquired by a private equity firm. After such upheaval in the market, this firm has concluded the magazine is no longer financially viable. NME announced they would solely focus on online.

Changes in the Print Industry

As mentioned above, the rise in smartphone users has directly contributed to the decline in print. Readers can access news directly through their device, rather than travelling to purchase a magazine. News is now portable and freely available, particularly in an age where younger readers are said to have less disposable income. The internet also allows competitors to publish news pieces as they happen, and print magazines can no longer compete.

Those brands sticking to printed publications must adapt to the changing face of the market and react to these attitudes. Innovative ideas to sell magazines include:

  • Provide interactivity with a specific webpage or app by utilising QR codes
  • Vouchers exclusive to the magazine
  • Produce rich, in-depth content that is not freely available

Funding for Online Publications

As NME moves online, there is a focus as to how websites make money – particularly in the midst of a dwindling print market. The funding can be split into advertising, data collecting surveys, paywalls and competitions. Advertising is the primary form of funding, and you will, most likely, have seen the ads in place. If you have ever had your reading interrupted by an advert, this is due to funding. Similarly, paywalls for content are a way of selling rich content, taking up time and resources to produce.

Data collecting surveys, for example, are the questions you may have to answer before reading an individual article. A condition will then be the data is sold on. Thus the publication receives revenue from you freely accessing the content. Competitions are another example, such as texting a premium rate line to enter the draw for £20,000.

The technological advances in the industry mean that you can no longer run your print publication as you did 20 years ago. The times are changing and your business strategies must too. The companies that survive will be the ones who adapt and incorporate new technologies to appeal to their readership.

How the Growth in Custom Envelope Printing Benefits Businesses

A mail slot in a red door.

If a business wants to make an impact on its customers, whether it be to convey a brand message or to mark them out as different from the competition; custom envelope printing is a tried and true method.

Numerous studies have already shown that recipient engagement rises dramatically when customised envelope printing is used, and it stands to reason. Most people aren’t interested by yet another series of white, dull square envelopes – when opting for a direct mailing, show them something they don’t see every day and they will be more inclined to look inside.

Unique envelop printing with online specialists

There was a time however when custom envelope printing wasn’t really an option for a business unless they were lucky enough to live near a specialist printer. Even then, the chances are that unless they put in an enormous bulk order, it would not be a wise move in terms of cost. The rise of the internet however has led to a growth in opportunities for businesses by taking advantage of online printing services. There, the customisation options are limited only by your imagination. Square envelopes are still popular and now they can be customized for every company; colours, custom text, even the material the envelope is printed on – all are subject to change in line with your taste and the image you want to present with your business correspondence.

The benefits of custom online printing

There are many benefits for business that look online for their custom printing of envelopes, the first and most obvious of which is cost. Online exclusive businesses don’t need to foot the cost of physical store front, which means they’re able to pass on the, occasionally quite substantial savings, on to their customers. You also get a benefit in terms of customer service. When you’re dealing with specialists you know you’re going to get quality and attention to detail in your final delivery. You’re also generally able to have samples delivered to your door before you buy, as well as a host of payment protection to ensure the safety of your transaction. Delivery is quick and efficient, and further discounts can be had by placing bulk orders which are conveniently delivered straight to you. There’s also the fact that online printing specialists are able to offer you almost infinite choice in terms of what you would like on your business’ envelopes, which means that it’s easier than ever to let your creativity flow.

Online printing is an easy, affordable, and reliable way of making your business stand out.

Getting a Mortgage While Self-Employed

With 4.7 million self-employed people in the UK, the mortgage market has responded by making it easier than ever for the self-employed people to get a suitable mortgage.

Historically it has been slightly more difficult for self-employed people to get a mortgage, but that has changed thanks to the growing trend towards people starting their own business.

Where fundamentally the mortgages are the same, there are a few basic differences between the mortgage application process for the self-employed and the employed…

The Mortgage Application

Once you’ve found your property, applied for the mortgage, had the valuations, surveys and searches done etc, the administration begins.

This is where the self-employed have to provide additional information to the lender and will see the differences in the application process; especially in terms of the way their income is reported.

Essentially, a self-employed person is allowed to borrow against their profit, not against their turnover.

How is that different?

Say an employed person earns a gross salary of £30,000 per year; their take home pay (net salary) is around £23,700. Despite this, the figure that a mortgage company will base their mortgage offer on is the gross salary of £30,000.

With a self-employed person, their turnover (the revenue their business brings in) could be £50,000, but the profit only £25,000. In this case, the mortgage offer is based on the £25,000, not the £50,000, even though you could argue the turnover is the self-employed equivalent of a gross salary.

With this in mind self-employed people should look to make their business both as profitable and fiscally sound as possible

Next up is the duration of proof of income.

Typically, a lender will ask for a contract of employment and 3 months pay slips before offering a mortgage to an employed person.

This is different in self-employment, where lenders typically ask for 3 years worth of books (accounts) to assess their income and risk before they agree to a mortgage. In some cases, you can get a mortgage earlier if the lender is willing to accept a financial forecast from your accountant.

Tips For Getting a Mortgage While Self-Employed

Run your business well

Keep your books and accounts up to date and professional. A bank is hardly likely to lend you potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds if your books are poorly kept.

It’s also useful to keep all of your documentation in an organised fashion – you’ll have to show it to any potential mortgage lenders, so having all of your paperwork handy will be a big bonus.

Hire a good accountant

A good accountant will keep on top of your finances for you and will be a professional and trusted ally when trying to get a mortgage while self-employed. They’ll also keep your company up to date on taxes.

Additionally, your accountant will provide you with all of your accounts in a professional and easy to read document which you will need to show your accountant.

Be honest with cash

Although they shouldn’t, many self-employed people pocket any cash they are paid in. Where this is illegal, it’s also reducing your chances of getting a mortgage.

Every penny of income that goes through the books increases your chances of getting a mortgage. Not declaring potentially thousands of pounds in cash will seriously reduce your profits and therefore your chances of getting a mortgage.

Save Money

Due to the fluctuating nature of a self-employed income, you’re likely to be seen as a higher risk. To help reduce any risk (and improve your chances of getting a mortgage), you should try to save as much money as possible.

There are two benefits to saving money in business – one is that you show a fiscally stable business. The other is you’ll need to borrow less money from the lender, improving your chances of getting the mortgage.

Conclusion

Where getting a mortgage if you’re self-employed is slightly more work from an admin point of view, if you run your business well, stay cash-positive and show you are profitable, it’s no more difficult than it would be for an employed person.

Use the Anwyl Homes mortgage calculator to work how much you could borrow to buy your new home.

The Results, at Home and Abroad, of the Housing Crisis

Buying a property overseas has never been easier, particularly when you use an experienced and trusted website like https://www.immoabroad.com, however in recent years Britain has been going through a housing crisis – yet figures show the number of people owning a second property has gone up.

In recent years Britain has been facing a housing crisis. It’s important to frame the issue properly – it’s not an issue of lack of physical supply. There continue to be many new houses being built every year, indeed, many usable properties lie empty. In Birmingham alone it was reported in 2017 that as many as 200,000 properties were lying empty, and this is a trend that is seen across the United Kingdom. The epicentre however for so called “idle property” is London.

The nature of the on-going housing crisis

London sees massive foreign investment in terms of property; however those who buy expensive homes there rarely spent much, if any, of their year in those homes. Their steadfast refusal to rent out the property means they sit vacant, as do many other perfectly usable homes, while homelessness figures continue to rise every single year. The housing crises then is not down to black and white issue of there not being enough property to go around, there clearly is. So what’s to blame? It’s a cocktail of things including mismanaged legislation, abused loopholes, a consistent degree of inequality in the marketplace, and many more issues besides.

How are second home figures rising during a housing crisis?

The simple answer is that, as with many issues of economics, it’s the people who are at the bottom of the ladder who are feeling the brunt of the housing crisis. The market continues to be very receptive to people who’ve the capital to invest in a second home whereas those wishing to make their first step onto the housing ladder are finding it harder. This means that the real estate business has been able to see continual growth in certain areas, such as the area of second homes. And with a housing crisis in currently going on it makes investing in property abroad seem even more appealing. A second home is a valuable asset in a number of ways, whether it’s to be used for rental income, as an appreciating investment, or as a failsafe in times of economic trouble.

The take away from this is that even though there is a housing crisis going on, a second home continues to be an attractive investment for those with the means to do so.

3 Signs Your SME Needs SAP Implementation

All SME owners know that the way you do business can change rapidly as your company and brand grows, regardless of what services you provide. Having a larger customer base means having more data to sort, more products to sell, and more transactions to keep track of. SAP, which is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, allows you to oversee every part of your business through one system, and can be used regardless of how small or large your company is.

SMEs and startups can especially benefit from SAP to help them grow and develop over time, and it’s often better to implement the system sooner rather than later. Here are three main signs to look out for when growing your business, which could tell you it’s time to look into getting SAP for your business.

You’re managing too much information across too many forms of software

As your business grows, you’ll have to start dealing with more data and keeping track of larger volumes of product. This makes inputting data even more time-consuming, with more pressure to ensure information is accurate at every stage. You may even have to update systems, or install more software in order to keep track of the growing demands of your business. If you and your staff are using multiple systems to record, track, and process information, it may be time to start thinking about implementing SAP software.

Using more than one system can make the overall running of your business time-consuming, as you may need to input information multiple times for each programme in use. This doubles the amount of work for your business, as work is often duplicated across each unit of business. Having various systems means that your business doesn’t run as smoothly as it could, and can even lead to inaccuracies if information is inputted incorrectly at each stage.

Investing in SAP software, however, can take this struggle away, as it integrates all the systems you need in order to keep your business running smoothly. As Eursap explain, the latest update to the software is still “outstanding in real-time analytics, simulation, and being able to handle multiple dimensions at the same time”. As all information is stored on a single database, you’ll be able to see accurate data at each stage, which can free up time to allow you to work on other aspects of your business.

Your financial processes are extremely long or complex

Financial and accounting processes are often the first parts of a business that show signs of needing an SAP system. Startups and SMEs often rely on paper invoices and physical records of all sales and orders, so you may have to dedicate a large chunk of time inputting the information into various accounting softwares. Having multiple systems also increases the chances of your finances being mismanaged, which can wreak havoc on your business. A lack of financial control can lead to potential cash-flow problems and incomplete forecasting and projections, which can stop you from taking advantage of potential opportunities to grow.

Accounting software has been a core category for SAP since it was founded in 1972, and the latest update has kept it at its forefront. Eursap’s guide to new features in SAP S/4Hana 1709 explains the key innovations in the area of finance, including the SAP Financial Closing cockpit, which is a core part of the update. This provides transparency throughout the closing cycle of your finances, and improves productivity with automated closing tasks. The update also offers a simpler data model along with improved user experience, which improves productivity, giving you more time to focus on growing your business.

You don’t have easily accessible business intelligence

Entrepreneurs need to have business intelligence in order to analyse data and determine areas for development and growth. If relevant data is collected and analysed correctly, effective business intelligence can give small business owners an advantage over competition. However, gathering data can be difficult if you have a number of different software packages in use within your business. In the best case scenario, it can take hours in order to get the right data to analyse, while in the worst case it can take days.

As the pace of business is faster than ever before, business owners and managers need access to information as quickly as possible in order to make informed decisions about their company’s future. If you find yourself spending time going through all systems and analysing data, it could be time to implement an SAP system. This will ensure that all of your data is in one software package, making it much easier to collate and analyse, and keep you better informed about the current state of your business.

Regardless of the size of your business, you can implement SAP software in order to keep track of business processes, and in order to plan for the future. Effectively using an SAP system can also help you with projections for your business, which can help you grow and develop your business to deal with more customers.

4 Things to Consider Before Taking Out a Personal Loan

Since 2008, a growing number of people have started using personal loans to pay for bills and other everyday expenses. In fact, recent statistics show that as much as 40% of young people in the UK now use payday loans, pawnshops or other short-term loans on a regular basis.

Taking out a personal loan can help you manage your short-term financial obligations. However, like all major financial decisions, it’s something that you need to approach with a certain amount of thought and planning.

From repayments to your personal cash needs, there are several things you need to consider before taking out a personal loan. We’ve listed four of these things below, along with tips and tactics to help you borrow effectively, intelligently and affordably.

How much will it really cost?

Personal loans aren’t free — in order to borrow money, you’ll need to pay interest. Before you take out a personal loan, it’s important that you calculate the total amount you’ll need to repay over the course of the monthly installments.

Loan providers like Mr Lender list the total repayable amount online, letting you see the cost of your loan before you borrow money.

It’s never a good idea to take out a loan without a full understanding of how much it will cost to pay back. Take note of the total cost of a personal loan and you’ll be a more informed borrower, making it easier for you to manage the installments and pay it back on time.

Do you meet the loan criteria?

Not just anyone can take out a personal loan. If you want to borrow money, the lender you talk to will want to see that you’re capable of repaying the loan on time. In the UK, this means you’ll need to meet the minimum criteria for a personal loan.

Most lenders will require that you’re a UK resident of 18 years of age or more in order to take out a personal loan. You’ll also need to provide proof of employment and income verification, which proves that you have enough personal cash flow to manage the loan installments.

Loan criteria can vary based on your needs and expectations, meaning you might be eligible to borrow from one lender but not another.

Do you really need it?

Personal loans can be extremely helpful in certain circumstances, but they’re not cheap. This means it’s important to ask yourself if you truly need to borrow any money before you consider taking out a loan.

If you have enough money in your savings account to pay your bills and immediate expenses, it’s almost always cheaper to use existing cash than a personal loan. If you’re borrowing to pay for a consumer good or other non-essential item, ask yourself if you really need it.

Personal loans are designed for uncommon financial situations and emergencies, not for buying an item you notice in a shop window. If you’re considering taking out a loan on a whim, spend a day or two to consider whether or not you truly need it before you fill out an application.

How will you repay it?

Finally, it’s important to consider how you’re going to pay off the loan. Responsible borrowers understand how much a loan costs and how they’ll repay it, making it much easier to manage the monthly installments.

Before you take out a loan, take note of the monthly installments and plan out how you’re going to pay them off as they become due. The best approach is to prepare a full budget that lists your income and expenses, letting you see exactly how much you’ll have left over every month.

This approach makes repayments easy instead of difficult, saving you from the financial stress that can result from trying to pay off a personal loan without a clear long-term plan in place.

What benefits can you get from trading

Let’s face the fact that Forex is blooming as a new profession. Many people are becoming interested in this profession today and many of them are investing their money. Everybody knows that Forex market is the biggest investment market in the world. All of the world’s biggest stock markets are compared nothing when it comes to matching with the Forex market. This is a profitable trading profession that you can do from home and you will never need to leave your home again. The most amazing thing is there is no limit to your success and money in Forex. You have got plenty of opportunities to try and if any of them get hit, you will be the rich trader in Forex. This article is going to tell you what marvelous and wonderful benefits awaits you in Forex. You will find that you have opened a new door of opportunities and you can make a lot of money if you work a little hard.

Financial stability

Those who are trading the Forex market for a long time in the United Kingdom are very rich. All the successful traders have managed to secure their financial freedom just by trading the live asset. But mastering the art of trading is not so easy. You have to learn all the technical and fundamental parameters. Based on that you have to develop a balanced trading system which will help you to place profitable trades in favor of the long-term trend. Once you truly master the art of trading you will never have to look back. You can easily live your life to the full without worrying about your financial needs.

Flexibility in work time

Being a full-time trader, you will be your own boss. You will never have to take orders from the superiors and most importantly you can easily set your trading routine according to your need. You don’t have to stare at your trading platform. Learn from the expert traders in the UK and see how they place trades. Design your trading routine in such a way so that you can have some spare time for your family.

The opportunity to endless profit

It is the best thing that can happen to any man in the world. If you are trading in Forex and you get to click on your luck, you do not have to worry about anything in your life. Your life will be settled and you can enjoy the view of your trees from your won mansions. The best benefit that the only Forex will provide you and no other professions in the world is the opportunity to make endless money. It can also be considered as the business but you have got the chance to make money instantly in your trades. You have got your computer and trends showing in your chart and placing on trade can make you rich. Many people led miserable lives before they started trading in Forex and their lives have changed. If you are disgusted with your office work and you want a raise in your income without telling your boss, this is the right profession for you.

The chances of becoming your own boss

Perhaps the most tempting reason why people choose Forex though it has numerous risks in the market is that of the chance of becoming your own boss. Nobody will shout at you and you will understand how peaceful this is. You can start your own trading account with as small as £10 and can make the profit today.

The blessing of leverage

We are not sure if we should call leverage a blessing as it also loses them money, but it helps the traders to place big trades with their small account. If you are sure of a trend and you want to trade big, leverage trading is the right thing for you.

Amazing tips to trade the short time frame in Forex market

Trading can be done in many ways and every trader is different in the Forex market. You need to develop your trading system based on your trading knowledge to become a profitable trader. If you try to make money based on other people’s trading system the chances are very high that you will become the greatest loser. You need to assess your personality, and based on that, you need to pick your desired timeframe to trade the market. It’s true that most professional traders in the United Kingdom will suggest you trade the higher timeframe data but this doesn’t mean that you can’t make any profit in lower time frame trading. However, lower time frame trading is extremely risky and you can’t afford to make mistakes. Most importantly, you need to have precise knowledge about trade management or else you will blow your trading account. Today, we will give you some amazing tips which will help you to become a profitable trader in the shorter time frame.

Use of price action trading strategy

The price action trading system is one of the most reliable trading systems with which to trade the Forex market. It’s nothing but the study of the raw price data to find the most profitable trade setups at the key levels. Some novice traders say that understanding all the basic parameters of the Japanese candlestick pattern is extremely hard but if know the psychology behind the formation of each candlestick, it won’t take much time to master the art of trading. But when you use the price action confirmation signal in the lower timeframe you need to do the multiple time frame analysis to filter out the false trading signals. Doing multiple timeframe analysis will greatly improve your trading performance.

Simple support and resistance level trading

Keeping things simple is one of the key ingredients to becoming a profitable trader. If you get involved in the binary options trading UK community, you will see that most of the successful traders have a very simple trading system. But developing the perfect trading system is not so easy. Most of the time, traders don’t understand the nature of this market. They simply try to trade this market based on their gut feelings. Try to draw the perfect support and resistance level in the higher time frame. Once you have identified the perfect support and resistance level, switch back to the lower time frame and try to look for potential price action confirmation signal. Some retail traders often try to place trade against the long-term existing trend. But betting against the market trend is nothing but a suicide mission. Make sure that you are placing a trade with low-risk exposure.

The golden 2% rule of money management

Risk management is often known as the Holy Grail of the Forex market. Most novice traders lose money due to their aggressive approach to trading. They even risk more than 10% of their trading capital in a single trade. But if you look at the successful traders in the United Kingdom you will be surprised to see their conservative way of trading. They might be trading the lower timeframe, yet they trade this market by following the simple 2% rule of money management. As a retail trader, you will always have to face losing trades and there is nothing you can do to avoid such loss. You have to consider your losing trades as your business costs.

Trading the lower timeframe data is extremely challenging. If you can follow these simple tips you will see that lower timeframe trading is extremely easy. Being a new trader you should never try to trade the market with your real money. Try to gain confidence by using the demo trading account.

Additional Bank Branch Closures Could Result in Almost 100 Lost Jobs

"London, UK - April 26, 2011: Group of teenagers are withdrawing cash from Lloyds TSB ATM on London Street. Rear view."

Lloyds Banking Group has recently announced that 49 of its branches throughout the UK will close. The announcement marks the second mass closure of Lloyds retail banking branches, after approximately 100 branches were closed during the middle of 2016.

Lloyds operates retail banks such as Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank and Halifax. The company noted that the closures are due to a decline in demand for traditional banking services and an increase in demand for digital banking.

The financial services group has seen a reduction in bank branch visits that has extended over several years — a trend that’s been widely reported in the industry as a whole. The closure of the bank branches could result in the loss of up to 100 jobs.

The company’s branch closures are strategic, aimed at reducing its total retail branch numbers without affecting quality of service for account holders. Lloyds stated that approximately 95% of its account holders will still be within five miles of a local bank branch.

Approximately 90% of customers of Bank of Scotland and Halifax will also be located within five miles of their nearest operational branch.

In a statement, the company said that customers “are increasingly choosing to use digital and mobile channels for their everyday banking needs. As a consequence, the number of customers visiting some of our branches has declined in recent years.”

“Branches remain a key part of the service we offer to customers, and we continue to make significant investment in revitalising our network, shaping it to their needs.”

The bank’s decision to close branches has run into opposition from the Unite union, which has claimed that the closures make it more difficult for many people to access local banking.

Unite national officer Rob MacGregor commented on the closures, stating that many were part of an “unnecessary” bank branch closure programme. MacGregor noted that Lloyds recently returned to profitability and mustn’t “ignore its corporate social responsibilities.”

The closures are part of Lloyds’ long-term strategy to reduce its physical footprint by closing an estimated 400 branches. The company plans to replace many of its bank branches with “micro branches” without counters, staffed with self-service machines instead of employees.

The micro-branches will be staffed by two people to assist with problem solving and provide specific services to customers. Customers will be connected with mortgage advisors through video link, allowing Lloyds to reduce the cost of operating its branches.

Lloyds isn’t the only banking company to cut back on physical branches in recent years. The Royal Bank of Scotland announced earlier this year that it would close up to 158 branches in response to the increase in demand for online banking services among account holders.

HSBC also announced earlier this year that it would close up to 62 additional branches, on top of 55 branches already planned for closure. Other banks to downsize their High Street footprints include the Yorkshire Building Society, which plans to close up to 48 branches.

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