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Landmark agreement means new banking hub in Carnoustie

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After three bank closures in three years, banking services are to return to Carnoustie.

Not a single bank remains in Carnoustie. Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland pulled out in 2018 and TSB closed in April.

But now Carnoustie is to benefit from a landmark agreement between banks, consumer groups, ATM network LINK and Post Office.

It means the banks agree to share service to ensure communities have access to cash.

A new banking hub will be established in Carnoustie town centre in 2022.

What is a banking hub?

The concept of the bank hubs come from two pilots running in Cambuslang and Rochford, Essex.

The hub is run by the Post Office and is exclusively for financial services. The one in Cambuslang is in a former carpet shop.

The main desk is run by a Post Office bank branch manager, who will manage everyday banking items like paying bills, cashing cheques or paying money.

The banking hub pilot in Rochford – now the concept is coming to Carnoustie.

In addition, every day of the week, a personal banker comes in from one of the high street banks – so it could be RBS on Monday, TSB on Tuesday, etc.

The same personal banker is in a private room and can do things like open and close accounts.

Carnoustie is one of five banking hubs announced and the only one in Scotland.

The next step will be identifying a location, ideally the high street, and then opening next year.

In the future any bank announcing a branch closure will need to inform LINK, who will be able to assess what this means for cash provision in that area and whether it needs intervention.

The move coincides with the closure of Spar on Carnoustie High Street, which has a Post Office counter providing some bank services, next month.

The shop’s landlord has allowed the Spar lease to expire and the new owners do not want the Post Office counter.

Impact of new agreement

The agreement follows work of the Access to Cash Action Group (CAG), Federation of Small Businesses and Age UK.

They are responding to almost half of bank branches closing since 2015.

Natalie Ceeney, chair of CAG, said: “We know that demand for cash is declining.

“But we also know that it continues to play a vital part in the lives of at least five million people in the UK – including some of the most vulnerable in society.

“The community pilots have shown that there are many different ways to meet people’s cash needs.

“Informed by this experience, I’m confident that the new plan will lay the foundations for a positive future for cash access across the UK.”

Carnoustie councillor Brian Boyd welcomes the news.

He said: “When Royal Bank of Scotland moved out of the town, I moved my accounts to TSB. Then they shut.

Councillor Brian Boyd.
Carnoustie councillor Brian Boyd welcomes the banking hub.

“It was sad when TSB pulled out and now we have a question mark over the Post Office counter.

“Our high street is fairly vibrant with very few empty shops. A banking hub is most welcome.”

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