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UK to open 13 new shared banking hubs

The additional hubs will bring the total to 25, though only two are in operation so far.

a person holding a pen and a paper

Starling Bank/Lensi Photography.

Another round of shared banking hubs is set to be rolled out across the UK to help tackle the hundreds of branch closures.

An additional 13 locations have been chosen following the first 12 areas that were identified last year, though only two have actually opened so far.

The other ten that have already been announced are expected to open in the next few months.

The lack of physical branches across the country has raised concerns around access to cash for those who don't have access to digital alternatives in an increasingly cashless society.

At the new banking hubs, which will act as a shared service that operates in a similar way to a standard branch, customers of any bank will be able to access their accounts, deposit cash and cheques and withdraw money at any time.

A representative from each of the major banks will visit once a week to help with more difficult enquiries.

Between 2000 and 2019 almost half of British bank branches closed, leaving 500 towns across the country with only one branch left.

With covid, the number of closures has only risen. UK banks and building societies have closed or planned the closure of around 430 branches this year.

Earlier in the year, the Financial Conduct Authority proposed new guidance forcing banks to assess the impact of service changes, including branch closures.

While some pledged to keep their doors open, others will see mass closures by the end of the year.

Barclays confirmed 40 branches would close over a three-month period, with Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland set to lose 136 branches by the end of the year.

The 13 new proposed sites span the country and include four in Scotland, as well as the first hub under the scheme in Northern Ireland.

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