Labour pledges 'guaranteed access to face-to-face banking in every community'

Labour pledges 'guaranteed access to face-to-face banking in every community'
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Fri 1st Dec 2023

Labour has promised to deal with the growing trend of high street bank branch closures by ensuring all areas have access to in person banking.

If it wins the next general election, the party said it will accelerate the roll out of 'banking hubs' which allow people to deposit and withdraw cash as well as use other banking services. It also pledged to, if necessary, give new powers for the Financial Conduct Authority to stop people being left in "banking deserts".

Labour highlighted new research by Which? which found that almost half of bank branches have closed since 2015. In some regions, such as the South West and Yorkshire, almost two thirds of branches are no longer open.

At least 350 banking hubs will be set up on local high streets, the party promised, with areas that currently don't have banks prioritised.

Rachel Reeves, Labour's shadow chancellor, said: 

"Labour's plan will bring banking services back to communities who have seen them disappear over recent years, meaning more people across the country will be able to access the services they need closer to home.

"Labour will tackle ghost high streets and ensure that every community has access to high street banking services."

The banking commitment follows the launch earlier this week of Labour's plan for how it will support small businesses in government. It brought together measures including tackling late payment, revitalising high streets and scrapping business rates.

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's news reporter and Bristol Local Leader. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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