UK bank branch sharing project set to be prolonged


A pilot project involving bank branches being shared by multiple financial institutions is set to be rolled out across the UK, Finextra have claimed.

The first two bank hubs were introduced last year in Essex and Cambuslang and are both run by the Post Office and shared by five high street banks.

The new locations include Brechin, Forress, Carluke, Kirkcudbright, Axminster, Barton-upon-Humber, Lutterworth, Royal Wootton Bassett, Cheadle, Belper, Maryport, Hornsea and Kilkeel.

Finextra remarked that the project was set up as a way to counter the effect of widespread bank closures across the country – particularly in rural or deprived areas.

Bank closures have been climbing at an accelerating rate, at more than 50 a month over the past five years and will over 200 this year.

Natalie Ceeney CBE – independent chair of the Access to Cash Action Group – said the hubs are already playing a positive role for local communities by providing essential banking services for individuals and local businesses.

She said, “Extending the pilots gives us more opportunity to really understand what works for people, and what role services like these could play in the future. These are early steps, and over the coming months the Group will explore a wide range of options to protect access to cash.”

A bi-annual study last year by Toluna has found that a majority of UK consumers still have strong confidence in banks and see bank branches as playing an important role.

The Toluna Financial Services Sentiment Indicator (FSSI) is a bi-annual study that explores topical issues linked to the UK population’s personal and household finances, as well as attitudes towards financial institutions in the UK and behaviours in relation to personal finances.

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