- An expert has said that there is a need to establish a network of banking hubs.
- He says about 50 common branches should be a priority for the banking industry.
- Bank branches have declined in recent years
Just the beginning: Will your city get a bank hub?
One of the leading banking campaigners of the country has urged the industry to announce the establishment of a nationwide network of banking centers as an immediate.
Derek French, a former NatWest executive and founder of Campaign for Community Banking Services, believes that support for the launch of such an initial 50 shared branches should be a priority for the banking industry.
They say their roll-out should begin in “months instead of years” and increase to 200 in the next five years.
French intervention in the debate against how banking services are maintained on the High Street – against the backdrop of a sharp decline in the number of bank branches and free-to-use cash machines – comes as cash supremo Natalie Seeney and big banks continue Put an end to an agreement on access to cash across the country.
Mail on Sunday’s Keep Our Cash campaign has long called for access to cash and banking services to stay on the high street.
In May this year, Seni was asked by the banking industry lobby group UK Finance to chair the ‘Access to Cash Action Group’.
Its approval was to come up with solutions that would maintain access to cash across the country, before the government has promised to bring in legislation.
With the announcement to unveil the solutions expected before Christmas, it’s likely (but not guaranteed) that Seni’s group will agree to allow banks to independently check all branches – and free-to-use cash machines – that they close. intend to do. Future.
This third-party verification by the cash machine network operator link will be done prior to the physical closure of the branch or ATM.
Link’s role will be to assess the potential impact of the shutdown on the local community – specifically, the ability of residents and local businesses to access cash and banking services.
Taking into account the size of the local population and other banking facilities in the community – for example, rival cash machines, a nearby post office or other bank branch – it will then decide whether to close, or simply as an option. . Hub-like banking facility takes its place.
Therefore, in busy towns and city centers where access to cash is widely available, it is likely that the link will approve the closure of banks or ATMs.
But in communities where the removal of a bank branch would render the high street unbanked, Link will have the authority to approve the establishment of a banking hub – preferably in a building vacated by the bank.
It is believed that Link is already busy recruiting people to do this third party verification work.
It is expected that such hubs will be set up as a partnership between banks and post offices.
The post office will provide basic over-the-counter banking services such as checks and cash deposits and cash withdrawals – as well as cash-taking facilities for small businesses.
Then the banking staff of each major bank will come to the hub on specific days to help customers with other banking issues – for example, opening a new bank account (business or personal) or applying for a loan.
Two pilot banking hubs are being tested in Rochford, Essex and Cumbslang near Glasgow.
Sources close to Sini say the new rules could go into effect by next spring if a deal is struck in the coming weeks.
This would mean that no branch or ATM can be closed without being approved by the link. Subsidiary legislation would then bind all banks to ensure that customers have access to cash.
It is understood that Cini believes the law is necessary – without it, there would be a danger that any voluntary commitments made by banks for access to cash could expire in the future.
100th free ATM lands at Chinook’s house
Cash Machine Network Link has installed the 100th ATM for use at RAF Odysham in Hampshire as part of a plan designed to give communities access to cash.
RAF Odheim, home to 2,000 personnel and their families, is a front-line support helicopter base – and is home to the Chinooks.
Yet it lost its only free-to-use cash machine just before the lockdown in March last year, meaning personnel must travel at least three miles to be able to withdraw cash to spend locally. Had to do
A new ATM at Aadhaar has now been installed by Sainsbury Bank.
Base: Chinook Helicopters at RAF Oddham in Hampshire
Launched in 2019, Link’s ‘Community Request Scheme’ allows individuals to ask Link to assess their community’s case for a free-to-use cash machine.
If accepted, the link would draw on £10million annual funding from the banking industry to establish the link.
In addition to RAF Oddham, LINK has led the way in installing free-to-use cash machines at military camps at Lulworth Cove (Dorset), Kinloss Barracks (Moray) and Catrick Garrison (North Yorkshire).
On Friday, LINK CEO John Howells said: ‘We will continue to visit locations across the UK to install ATMs where they will be needed.’
The cash machines introduced under this scheme have had a transformative impact on the communities.
Anthony LaValle, a councilor with Liverpool City Council, says a free-to-use ATM installed in Croxteeth a year ago has had a ‘positive impact’ on the local community.
‘Croxteth is a cash-dependent community,’ he says. ‘No one should have to pay £2 every time they withdraw cash from an ATM. “My view is that no cash machine should charge users for their own access…