The Halifax moved to increase its presence on the UK high street today by unveiling plans to open 20 new branches next year.
The branches will primarily be in the south of England and are part of a wider plan to open 100 new sites in the next five years.
The roll out of high street banks is the biggest network expansion by the Halifax since the 1970s and will create about 1,500 jobs.
The new branches will involve 50 towns where Halifax has little or no presence, and another 50 where the company will move to bigger sites.
The first of the new branches to open next year will be in Basingstoke in February and will be followed by sites in Monmouth, Christchurch, Leicester and the City of London.
The branches will add an additional 300 free cash machines to the existing network of 2,700 operated by Halifax owner HBOS.
The Halifax has already opened nine new branches this year, including in the City of London, Ealing, Windsor, Weybridge, Norwich and Didcot.
HBOS has 1,100 branches across the UK and 22 million customers. More than 3.5 million customers use the branch network each week.