Towns and villages that have lost their bank branch could soon get some services back when a new scheme gets under way.
Some of the country’s big banks have signed up to the scheme, which means there will be a review every time a branch is closed.
The banks promise to do whatever is recommended in the review – which could be anything from opening a banking hub, installing an ATM or upgrading the local post office so that it can offer some banking services.
Banking hubs would be run by the post office and customers of any bank will be able to get cash and make deposits. Staff from one of the banks would visit the hub once a week to take care of other services.
Cut off by bank branch closures
The plan is good news for those of us who still depend on cash – who may be cut off by bank branches closing down.
And it’s not just the elderly and vulnerable who are missing out as life goes digital. It’s thought five million of us still rely on cash and in-person banking services.
It can be a vicious circle too, as shops and small businesses that have nowhere nearby to bank their takings could choose to stop accepting cash payments.
The review will look at the cash needs of the community, such as where the nearest alternative is and how much local residents depend on in-person services.
PayPoint powers on
But if we’ve lost our bank branch and still rely on cash to get by there may be another option.
Trials of a cashback scheme where we don’t have to buy anything to be able to take money out have been successful.
The trial started out in a few shops but has now been extended to around 2,000 across the UK.
Where we see a PayPoint machine, we can use it like a regular ATM and will be given the cash from the shop’s till.
A quarter of all free-to-use cash machines have been axed since 2018.