The Scottish Mail on Sunday - 2021-10-10


Hope for towns with no branches

Financial Mail On Sunday

By Helen Cahill

THE banking industry is sizing up plans to deliver shared banking services in the first half of 2022 in up to 20 communities struggling for access to cash. Insiders told The Mail on Sunday they are hoping to create new facilities in bank-free areas if lenders can agree terms on shared branches by the end of the year. Sources said these ‘cold spots’ could see more investment into post offices to deliver banking services, or new shared branches. But there are no agreed plans for sites for shared bank branches. In a submission to a Government consultation process on access to cash, bank lobby group UK Finance said the volume of cash payments has fallen from more than 20billion in 2010 to 6.1 billion in 2020. It voiced its opposition to the idea of giving the financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, the power to block branch closures or mandate changes to opening hours, saying, ‘these are carefully considered commercial decisions’. UK Finance also said banks should be allowed to shut any shared branches if they are too costly, or be able to replace them with a cheaper option. The 50 shared branches experts say MUST open Personal Finance: Pages 130-132


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