A County Durham town is to get a banking hub after the last bank branch on the high street closed down. 

LINK, the UK’s cash access and ATM network, has today announced that locals and businesses in Crook will soon find it easier to access banking services thanks to a recommendation for a new banking hub in the town.

Following the announcement of the closure of the final bank branch on the high street, LINK has confirmed that the town will benefit from a new banking hub as part of a wider commitment to protect access to cash. As part of its recommendation, the hub will also include a cash machine.

Banking hubs are a shared banking space, similar to a traditional bank branch, but available to everyone.

The hub will consist of a counter service operated by Post Office employees, where customers of any bank can withdraw and deposit cash, make bill payments and carry out regular banking transactions.

In addition, there will be private spaces where customers can speak to community bankers from their own bank for more complicated matters that require specialist knowledge or privacy. The banks will be working on a rotating basis, so there will be staff from different banks available on different days.

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To date, LINK has recommended 130 banking hubs. There are currently 50 banking hubs up and running in the UK, including in nearby Newton Aycliffe and a hub is soon to be opened in Ferryhill.

The banking hub will now be delivered by Cash Access UK. Over the next few weeks, it will begin to engage with the local community and will start to look for potential sites. The hub will likely open in 12 months’ time.

Nick Quin, Head of Financial Inclusion, LINK: “Banking hubs are making a significant impact on local high streets, so we are pleased to recommend this new banking hub for the community in Crook. Many people are still reliant on cash, so it is essential that we protect access to cash and basic banking for towns across the UK.”