A total of 268 bank branches in S Korea were closed in 2014, bringing the number of bank branches in the country falling to its lowest level in five years.

Data released by the Bank of Korea showed that the number of bank branches in the country totaled 7,433 last year, the lowest level since 2000, after falling by 268 from a year ago.

The country’s central bank attributed the fall to the weakening demand for face-to-face service at banks and the increasing focus on non-contact channels.

Aside from the number of bank branches, the number of other financial institutions in the country also dropped last year.

The number of live insurers fell to 3,683 branches from 3,951 a year earlier, while savings banks slumped to 327 from 339 branches.