Sharing bank branches is a nice way to suppress negative effects of widespread bank closures nationwide
A project that enables multiple financial institutions to share bank branches rolls out across the UK after a successful start in Essex and Cambuslang. According to BBC, this year Britain will open 13 new bank hub locations.
Massive branch closures have raised concerns about access to cash and deposits, particularly in rural or deprived areas. In 2022, over 200 bank locations have been closed due to the high cost of maintenance. Besides, the rise of digital banking and challenger banks, which thrived during the pandemic, has slowed the demand for traditional high street banking in branches. Nevertheless, local communities do not always benefit from such closures.
The first two joint bank locations were run by the Post Office and shared by five high street banks. These hubs are already playing a positive role in local communities. They provide essential banking services for individuals and small businesses. Besides, they are not too costly for the institutions. Running costs do not exceed maintaining an ordinary small branch, but they are shared between different banking groups that use the premises.
At bank hubs, customers of various banks can access their accounts, deposit cash and cheques, and withdraw money at any time. There are also representatives from each of the major banks to handle more complex enquiries who visit the shared branches once a week.
Extending the scope of the pilot project will give a better understanding of the impact and need for shared bank spaces.