- By Jo Thewlis
- BBC News, Norfolk
A banking hub is set to be opened in the north Norfolk town of Holt after its last counter branch closed in 2022.
Shared hubs allow different banks to take turns in running a daily service, which includes cash deposits and withdrawals as well as face-to-face inquiry services.
The cash access and ATM network LINK recommended the new hub for Holt.
LINK’s head of financial inclusion, Nick Quinn, said: “We’re very pleased to recommend a new hub in Holt.
“While more people are choosing to bank and pay for things digitally, there are still millions who prefer to pay in cash and like to do their banking face-to-face.”
Concerns were raised when Barclays closed its Holt branch in December 2022.
A community request was raised in 2023 with LINK, calling for a banking hub in the town.
LINK then assessed the application, looking at the number of shops in the area, the population, and the closeness of other banking services.
The banking hub will now be delivered by Cash Access UK, which is a not-for-profit company providing cash and basic banking services in communities across the UK.
Over the next few weeks it will looking for potential sites in Holt and it is hoped the hub could be opened in the next 12 months.
Steffan Aquarone, who will be standing for the Liberal Democrats in North Norfolk at the next general election, has been campaigning for a banking hub.
He said: “I’m thrilled with today’s announcement. Local people need access to banks.
“It isn’t reasonable to expect elderly, vulnerable, immobile or time-poor residents to travel to Norwich.”
Duncan Baker, the Conservative MP for north Norfolk, has been calling for a change to the law to allow banking hubs to open in more areas, more quickly.
At present a hub cannot open until all bank branches in a town have closed.
He said: “I’ve campaigned tirelessly for banking hubs across the constituency, holding many meetings and raising this matter time and time again in Parliament.
“I will now work closely with both LINK and the new hub provider, Cash Access UK, to find a suitable site, given my long association and close ties with the town.”