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In-person Banking Services

Volume 727: debated on Tuesday 7 February 2023

We want everyone to have appropriate access to banking services. Decisions on branches are commercial decisions for firms to take, but we have ensured that the regulatory structure treats customers fairly. As well as digital and telephone banking channels, alternative in-person services are available via the Post Office, through industry-driven initiatives and through new shared banking hubs.

Following a string of local bank branch closures in recent years, news of yet another branch shutting up shop in Amersham on 1 March has caused great concern to my constituents. Some of those affected will struggle to make the journey to the next nearest branch, and they are not confident that the promised alternative provision will meet their needs. Does the Minister agree that the creation of banking hubs should be triggered by the communities that need them? Will he meet me to discuss the need for such a hub in my constituency?

I would be happy to meet the hon. Lady to talk about the challenges her constituents face. In its information pack about the closure, Barclays revealed that only 22 customers use the branch regularly, and that 92% of users are able to fulfil their services through other means.

The work to deliver a new banking hub in Knaresborough is progressing so well that we are looking at an opening date in only a few months. Will my hon. Friend come to Knaresborough when the hub is open?

I will be delighted to visit, and I commend the good work done by Link and the access to cash action group.