UK Post Office: ensuring financial inclusion with new pilot
UK Post Office has opened two ‘BankHubs’ as part of the Communities Access to Cash Pilots (CACP) initiative. The new centres in Rochford and Cambuslang will provide local customers with basic banking and cash services, as well as dedicated rooms where they can see community bankers from their own bank.
The CACP launch marks a huge step forward in providing a solution to bank branch closures. Post Office branches already provide critical cash deposit and withdrawal services for millions of personal and business customers every week from 11,500 branches across the UK, with 99% of the population living within three miles of a Post Office.
Post Office is the only existing cash network in the UK with the scale of infrastructure, robust scalability and security in place to manage this role in the cash market. Its services allow customers to withdraw cash to the penny over the counter in branches, which are typically open for longer and in more convenient locations for customers to access.
Nick Read, Chief Executive at Post Office, said: “We are proud to be at the heart of the CACP programme and see the BankHubs as an exciting expansion of our role in safeguarding a secure and sustainable future for cash, as well as our partnership with the banks. Access to vital banking and cash services are imperative in ensuring financial inclusion, and the positive reaction to the pilots so far is testament to just how pressing it is that we support communities and consumers that would struggle without cash. The Hubs can make a real difference as part of the solution to meeting peoples’ cash needs in future.”
Martin Kearsley, Banking Director at Post Office, said: “In many communities, Post Office is the last counter in town for cash services, but for many people who still need a place to meet their bank, our new BankHubs are a lifeline. The Post Office network has long formed the bedrock of cash access in the UK and we’re fully committed to continuing and expanding that role. We see it as essential that any community struggling amid bank branch closures, and those whose livelihoods depend on cash, be provided with an appropriate solution, and hope that in partnership with the banks, the Hubs will prove to be a great success.”