Dozens of new 'banking hubs' to open across Britain - Traditional banks and post offices saved for older generations
The launch of the fourth banking hub in the UK has shown that access to cash and face to face banking services are still crucial to society.
The East Yorkshire village of Cottingham, with a population of more than 17,000, was selected to be one of the first new banking hubs in Britain after all its bank branches closed.
Its grand opening was this month and is already proving to be a success.
The hub allows customers of different banks to carry out face-to-face transactions with counter services being provided by staff from the Post Office.
David Davis, Conservative MP for Haltemprice and Howden, cut the ribbon at the new facility in Cottingham and told GB News: “The banks will find that it [the banking hub] will actually generate more business and more money.
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“The Post Offices will like it because it will bring people into the Post Office as well, so all told it will work very well indeed.
“It’s a clever answer to what was turning into a real problem, which is the absence of banks on the high street, the absence of access to cash, the absence of all the things that many of us have grown up with and are uncomfortable without.
“So it’s a great idea, and because it’s a great idea, the customer will make it work.”
Banking hubs are a new concept facility following successful pilots in Scotland and Essex, which led to nine banks and building societies joining forces to agree a wider UK rollout.
They were trialled during the Community Access to Cash pilots in 2021 – an industry-led initiative to protect access to cash, and brought it to counter the loss of individual banks in communities after a cost-cutting drive has left fewer than 6,000 banking branches across the UK.
Customers at the banking hub in Cottingham told GB News that they were thrilled to have a facility that gives them access to cash and a face-to-face banking service.
Toni Ibbetson said: “I like seeing somebody in person, it’s a different experience, quite a different experience.”
James Hargreave said: “I do like the human touch. I think it’s still very important in this age and I’m sure a lot of people in my age group will appreciate that they can still handle cheques with human hands.
Kenneth Richardson said: “It’s nice when you can go into the bank and think ‘oh good, I can draw it [cash] out.’”
With more than five million people in the UK relying on cash every day, the banking hubs have shown that hard money is still crucial in society and provide a lifeline to those struggling in a cashless society.
This has become even more evident during the cost of living crisis, with people using cash more than digital payments in order to budget.
Speaking to GB News, Ross Borkett, Head of Banking at the Post Office said: “The cost of living crisis is really starting to bite and it’s much easier for people to budget using cash, to see money in front of them and to use that day in day out.
“The other thing we see is whilst there’s a lot of customers that want to use cash, they need businesses that are willing to take it, and for that to work, businesses need an easy way of depositing that cash at the end of the day.
“Therefore local facilities like this make a real difference.”
The Cash Action Group led the banking hub pilots and see them having a permanent place on the high street.
Cat Farrow is a representative of Cash Action Group and told GB News: “Banking hubs really are here to support those communities where there’s no branch left.
“They are put in place where we’ve identified the need, where there is no longer that ability to transact to that level anymore and they really are a positive thing for the future.
“We look forward to support a lot more communities over the next few years and we’ve seen how popular they can be from the pilot and from these two new hubs we’ve just opened.”
Cottingham and Brixham are the latest Banking Hubs to launch, with another 25 to follow.
Future Hubs will depend on future closures, with every community affected by a closure having its needs assessed by LINK, , the UK’s ATM and cash access network.
The current banking hubs are in:
- Brixham (Devon)
- Cambuslang (South Lanarkshire)
- Cottingham (East Yorkshire)
- Rochford (Essex)
The other communities set to get a banking hub are:
· Acton (London)
· Axminster (Devon)
· Barton-upon-Humber (Lincolnshire)
· Belper (Derbyshire)
· Brechin (Angus)
· Bury Park (Bedfordshire)
· Buckingham (Bucks)
· Carluke (Lanarkshire)
· Carnoustie (Angus)
· Cheadle (Staffs)
· Forres (Moray)
· Haslemere, Surrey
· Hornsea (Yorks)
· Kilkeel (Newry)
· Kirkcudbright (Dumfries & Galloway)
· Knaresborough (North Yorks)
· Looe (Devon)
· Lutterworth (Leicestershire)
· Maryport (Cumbria)
· Prestatyn, Denbighshire
· Royal Wootton Bassett (Wilts)
· Syston (Leics)
· Troon (Ayrshire)
· Welling, South East London
· Welshpool (Powys)
Providers involved in the initiative
Nine high street banking providers are funding this initiative. The firms involved are:
- Danske Bank
- Lloyds Banking Group
- Nationwide Building Society
- NatWest Group
- Virgin Money
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