Acton Chosen as Location for London's First 'Banking Hub'

Will offer services to customers of multiple banks

The former Barclays Bank in Acton could host hub. Picture: Google Streetview


Barclays Bank in Acton To Close

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Acton has been chosen as the location of the first ‘banking hub’ in London.

The centre, which is due to open in June, will offer basic banking services to customers of multiple major UK banks. Run jointly by the Post Office and lenders, the Hub will also provide rooms for customers to meet with staff from their own bank for more complex transactions.

Banks including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Santander, TSB and Danske Bank, as well as the UK’s largest building society Nationwide, have all signed up to the scheme.

The move has been welcomed by Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq who has been campaigning for improved access to cash in Acton, which lost its last bank branch, Barclays, last June, and has seen a sharp reduction in the number of ATMs. Back in December, she pressed the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on the lack of banking services available locally.

Several sites for the Acton hub are being considered, including the unit that used to house Barclays on Acton. High Street before it closed, and the site of the old Post Office on King Street, which shut down in 2018.

Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq and Acton Councillors recently met with the industry-backed Access to Cash Action Group (ACAG) to discuss steps to ensure Acton residents can play an active role in the planning process. A survey will be made available to all residents this Spring.

Following the meeting with Natalie Ceeney OBE and Mark Essex of ACAG with the Laura Tarling of Post Office in attendance as a major partner, Rupa Huq MP said, “It was really sad when Barclays closed its doors as the last bank standing in Acton is no more. We can't bring it back sadly but I'm excited that a new banking hub is on the way to rectify Acton’s current status as a cashpoint-less and bank-less desert. The facilities the Hub will provide will not only be a boost for the economy locally but help the loneliness crisis that afflicts many elderly who find visiting a bank part of their daily routine.

“I have been lobbying the Government and the banks on this for ages. Thousands of Actonians still use cash daily and businesses need places to withdraw and deposit it. Asking them to travel to Ealing or Chiswick to carry out basic banking services is neither fair nor practical.

“I will be working with ACAG, Councillors and local residents to ensure the banking hub has community buy-in and is centrally located. With all the many flats going up in the area and white collar people working from home who may need to perform transactions it's needed now more than ever.”

Natalie Ceeney, Chair of the Access to Cash Action Group, said, “Like many places across the UK, Acton has a busy and thriving high street with lots of independent businesses but without a local bank branch.

“Travelling to Ealing or Chiswick to bank your takings is a hassle and adds more time and effort.

“The risk is that many shops could decide to stop accepting cash, which will hurt the most vulnerable in society who still rely on cash and can’t use digital payments.

“We’re really excited about the Banking Hub and to be working with the local community. We’ve seen how they’ve really helped the communities in Cambuslang and Rochford and I’m certain it will be beneficial to Acton too.”

According to consumer campaigning group Which?, the rate of bank branch closures increased significantly in 2021, peaking between June and August when 298 branches closed their doors - an average of 99 per month. But the independent Access to Cash Review has found that more than 5 million people in the UK are still “heavily reliant” on notes and coins.

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February 15, 2022


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