finance news

England gets new four banking hubs as several bank branches shut down

England gets new four banking hubs as several bank branches shut down

UK will reportedly be getting four novel ‘banking hubs’ in England, while another six will be receiving support for business deposits, after reviewing cash access issues in the country.

Banking hubs are shared spaces that operate similarly to traditional bank branches, consisting of counter service run by Post Office staff where customers can deposit and withdraw cash, make payments, or do other banking transactions, regardless of what their bank may be.

They also have private areas where customers can talk to a representative from their bank regarding any complex matter, as staff from various banks will be available on different days.

As part of an agreement between building societies and banks, after any bank branch closes down, UK’s ATM and Cash Access network identifies whether that society needs further cash services. Societies can also contact Link to be assessed for support.

The four locations for the banking hubs include Welling in southeast London, Prestatyn in Denbighshire, Haslemere in Surrey, and Bury Park in Bedfordshire.

Currently, there are two banking hubs in the UK, and after the latest announcement, 27 more hubs are expected to open in the coming months.

The six locations which will receive additional support are Sandbach in Cheshire, Plympton in Devon, Melksham in Wiltshire, Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, Finchley in north London, and Bingley in West Yorkshire.

The closure of bank branches has raised concerns over people being able to continue accessing their money, with the government having previously stated that it will take legal action to protect the future of cash.

John Howells, CEO of Link, hopes that more communities apply for a banking hub, adding that although many use online banking services, millions still rely on cash.

Jenny Ross, Editor at Which? Money, said that banking hubs will play a crucial role in meeting the cash requirement of local communities, but the rollout has been slow.

587 bank branches have closed this year, according to Which?

Ross added that with a decline in the number of bank branches and free-to-use ATMs, it is necessary for legislation to protect free access to cash. 

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