Analysis from consumer champion Which? has shown a sharp decline in the number of bank branches open in areas across much of the UK compared to seven years ago.
According to figures up to the end of April, eight banks have been shuttered in Milton Keynes North since the start of 2015, leaving 18 remaining in the area while six banks have closed in Milton Keynes South, leaving eight remaining in the area.
Separate figures from LINK, a cash machine network, show there has also been a decline in the number of free-to-use ATMs across the UK in recent years.
Their data shows that between the start of 2018 and early March this year, the number of ATMs in Milton Keynes North dropped from 141 to 110.
The number of ATMs in Milton Keynes South dropped from 100 to 77.
The increasing use of online banking and contactless payments have led to concerns some will be left behind, or unable to access key services.
Which? chief executive, Anabel Hoult, said: “While the pandemic has accelerated the move to digital payments for many consumers, many are not yet ready to make that switch and require protection from an avalanche of ATM and bank branch closures that have left the UK’s cash system at risk of collapse.”
A bill to protect access to cash was announced as part of the Queen’s Speech in May.
The Treasury says the new legislation will ensure “continued access to withdrawal and deposit facilities across the UK”.
Which? welcomed the bill but said it “must ensure that clear requirements are placed on industry to meet communities’ need for cash”.
The research suggests the elderly and those in areas with poor mobile or broadband connectivity have suffered most in the move to digital banking.
RSA researcher Mark Hall said: “For millions of people, their relationship with cash is critical to the way they manage their weekly budget.
“It’s vital that the dash to digital doesn’t disenfranchise anyone, especially with the cost-of-living crisis putting such significant strain on family finances right now.”