The success of shared bank branches has been widely praised and is now being expanded across the country.
In April, two new hub banks were opened in Rochford, and Cambuslang in the suburbs of Glasgow. One day a work week, major banks such as Barclays and Lloyds offer a service.
Customers can also pay their bills at the Post Office Counter.
Working together: The shared bank branch project at Glasgow saw NatWest and Lloyds use a single hub branch to access alternate days.
These shared buildings are so well-received that they will remain open at least until March 2023.
It is hoped that five additional launches will take place by Easter in Acton and West London, Brixham, Devon, Carnoustie, Angus, Knaresborough (North Yorkshire), and Syston, Leicestershire.
The Post Office has also announced this week that it will install ‘dedicated cash services’ in 30 branches over the next 12 months which could include banking counters and self-service machines.
As Britain moves towards cashless society, more than 8 million people are in danger of being forgotten.
As part of the Community Access to Cash Pilots Scheme, the banking hubs were created. This scheme tested 40 services in eight locations throughout the country.
The final report was published today and shows that shared branches are the most popular with customers as well small business owners. They also meet the broadest range of customer needs. Around 92 customers visited each day and £4.65 million has been deposited at the two sites since they launched.
When surveyed, 95 per cent of customers rated the service as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
Some described the hubs as a ‘lifeline’, saving them hours of travel and helping them to manage their money better and avoid overdraft charges. The hubs were also promoted by retailers to encourage people to shop in the high streets, which gives the local economy an extra boost.
The report did acknowledge that these were costly to operate so they are unlikely to be used in small towns where there is less demand.
In smaller towns, cashback was also very popular. It is often offered in convenience shops and cafés and not specialist pharmacies.
And many residents liked them because they could access smaller sums, with 50 per cent of people asking for less than £20. But they were only useful as a ‘back-up’ and were not a substitute for an ATM, the report concluded.
It’s not surprising that people who depend on cash are less comfortable with digital services. However, automated deposit machines were used much more frequently than anticipated.
Ministers pledge to pass new legislation to safeguard cash. John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, says: ‘Access to cash has ongoing importance to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, and protecting it is a priority for myself and this Government.
‘Following the Government’s commitment to legislate, I am pleased to see firms working together to develop new initiatives to support continued access to cash. This is a great start and I look forward to seeing the impact of industry’s announcements for new and improved cash facilities in local communities across the UK.’