More banking hubs and pods earmarked for UK as branch closures continue
A further nine banking hubs and six deposit services have been recommended by Link to protect access to cash in the UK.
Cash access and ATM operator Link has recommended new hubs in Lancashire, Derbyshire, Merseyside, East Midlands, West Sussex, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, with two in Greater Manchester.
Keswick in Cumbria, Ripley in Derbyshire, Littlehampton in West Sussex, Whitstable in Kent, Dagenham in Greater London and Colwyn Bay in Clywd, Wales, have also been earmarked for deposit services, which provide accessible ways to deposit cash without needing to visit a bank branch.
The move will take the total number of new cash services recommended by the company to 76 across the UK, including 38 banking hubs and 38 deposit services.
Link CEO John Howells says: “Not everyone can or is able to go digital yet, so we’re pleased to announce new cash services to support these communities.”
The banking hubs are being targeted in areas where access to banking services has dwindled thanks to ongoing high street bank branch closures.
The Post Office-run hubs give customers of any bank access to their accounts as well as the ability to deposit cash and withdraw money.
Cash Access UK, a company formed by UK Finance in partnership with nine banks and building societies to protect access to cash across the country, will now open the new hubs and deposit services, Link says.
Funded by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest Group, Santander, Virgin Money, Danske Bank and TSB, Cash Access UK was incorporated following “extensive industry collaboration”.
The aim of the company is to provide withdrawal, deposit and basic banking services where they’re needed.
Currently, only four such banking hubs are in operation; Brixham in Devon, Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire, Cottingham in East Riding of Yorkshire, and Rochford in Essex.
Meanwhile, while it was revealed earlier this year that Barclays is closing a further 15 branches across England and Wales, the bank has also outlined its new “flexible banking strategy” which will see semi-permanent “banking pods” in set up in retail areas, and six electric vehicle (EV) banking vans added to its existing fleet of 10.
Barclays Local has already seen 200 “alternative branch formats” opened by the end of 2022.
The bank says an additional 70 will open in the first half of 2023, including in places without an existing Barclays presence.
Jo Mayer, head of everyday banking at Barclays UK, says: “As visits to branches continue to fall, we need to reimagine where and how we show up to provide the best service for customers now and in the future.”