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Access to cash boosted by new company backed by high street banks

Rebecca Goodman
Written By:
Rebecca Goodman

A new company has been launched by the major high street banks to protect access to cash and help the roll-out of banking hubs.

Cash Access UK is a not-for-profit company which is made up of some of the largest names on the high street including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest Group, Santander, TSB and Virgin Money.

Age UK, Federation of Small Businesses, Toynbee Hall and LINK are also members.

It comes as thousands of bank branches have closed across the UK limiting access to cash. HSBC, for example, recently announced it was to close a further 114 branches by April as it moves more towards digital services.

Cash Access UK to facilitate banking hubs

The role of the new company will be to provide people and small businesses with access to cash, deposits and basic banking services.

It will also be facilitating the roll-out of banking hubs. These are being created to provide customers with vital access to cash and services in communities where the last traditional bank branch has closed.

There are four hubs already open, in Rochford, Cambuslang, Brixham and Cottingham and 25 additional hubs have been announced and are currently in development.

Banking hubs will provide the following services:

  • A counter service, where customers of all the major banks and building societies can carry out everyday cash transactions
  • A community banker service where customers of member banks and building societies can talk to their own provider about more complicated banking issues (the providers with the most customers in the area usually provide a Community Banker in a Hub)

The new company will also be testing new cash and banking services at 18 locations to meet people’s cash and banking needs as they change over time.

The testing will take place in 2023 with a particular focus on new deposit-taking services to enable small businesses to deposit their takings quickly, locally and safely.

Banking hub and deposit services across the country

The communities where a banking hub has already opened are:

  • Brixham (Devon)
  • Cambuslang (South Lanarkshire)
  • Cottingham (East Riding of Yorkshire)
  • Rochford (Essex)

The communities where a banking hub will open in the future are:

  • Acton (London)
  • Axminster (Devon)
  • Barton-upon-Humber (North Lincolnshire)
  • Belper (Derbyshire)
  • Brechin (Angus)
  • Bury Park (Bedfordshire)
  • Buckingham (Buckinghamshire)
  • Carluke (Lanarkshire)
  • Carnoustie (Angus)
  • Cheadle (Staffordshire)
  • Forres (Moray)
  • Haslemere (Surrey)
  • Hornsea (Yorkshire)
  • Kilkeel (Newry)
  • Kirkcudbright (Dumfries & Galloway)
  • Knaresborough (North Yorkshire)
  • Looe (Devon)
  • Lutterworth (Leicestershire)
  • Maryport (Cumbria)
  • Prestatyn (Denbighshire)
  • Royal Wootton Bassett (Wiltshire)
  • Syston (Leicestershire)
  • Troon (Ayrshire)
  • Welling (South East London)
  • Welshpool (Powys)

The communities that will receive new deposit-taking services are:

  • Atherstone (Warwickshire)
  • Billericay (Essex)
  • Bingley (West Yorkshire)
  • Bourne (Lincolnshire)
  • Dunmow (Essex)
  • Faversham (Kent)
  • Finchley (North London)
  • Holyhead (Anglesey)
  • Holywood (Down)
  • llfracombe (Devon)
  • Leigh-on-Sea (Essex)
  • Melksham (Wiltshire)
  • Plympton (Devon)
  • Sandbach (Cheshire)
  • Shanklin (Isle of Wight)
  • Swanage (Dorset)
  • Swanley (Kent)
  • Wallingford (Oxfordshire)

A new company funded by banks

Natalie Ceeney CBE, chair of Cash Access UK, said: “The idea of bringing together major banking institutions to provide shared services on the high street seems so obvious, but it’s taken a huge amount of work and commitment from the banks, building societies and consumer groups involved to turn this into a reality.

“As the high street changes, we now have a company which is funded by banks and building societies, dedicated to ensuring that consumers, small businesses and communities aren’t left without the services that they need.

“Over the coming years, we will support increasing numbers of communities across the UK with Banking Hubs, deposit services and other services, developed in partnership with the banking providers and those who need them.”