Over recent years, residents in Thornbury, Yate and Chipping Sodbury, have witnessed the closure of many of High Street bank branches, leaving many in the community without easy access to banking services.
As the number of bank branches continued to disappear from the local area, MP Luke Hall has been working to set up “Banking Hubs” where residents can speak in person with a local representative from a number of banks including Barclays, Lloyds Bank, HSBC, NatWest and TSB.
Banking Hubs are run by the Post Office, and funded by each individual bank, but owned by Cash Access UK. They work by having a local representative, sometimes known as a community banker, who can offer advice in a town or village, on a specific day of the week, in a similar way to the Post Office Mobile Vans which operate throughout South Gloucestershire.
The MP confirmed this week that he has formally requested that Thornbury and Yate have a “Banking Hub” set up this year, and has submitted a full case to Cash Access UK, calling for our rural towns and villages to be considered for such a service, as a priority.
The MP said, “Bank branches are vital for many people, and we must preserve access to banking for local communities across South Gloucestershire. I share resident’s concerns regarding the impact that closures of branches have had, particularly in rural areas such as ours.”
“I very much hope that we are successful with our Bank Hub bid, so we can bring back bank access to our shopping centres and high streets”.
If successful, local residents from Thornbury, Yate and the surrounding area which have an improved access to key banking services that they may be unable or find difficult to do online, such as withdrawals, paying in cheques, utility payments, and many “over the counter” enquiries