Barclays, NatWest, Lloyds, Halifax customers given new branch rules under Labour government

Labour has handed Barclays, NatWest, Lloyds and Halifax customers a major boost - with the erection of banking hubs. The new Labour Party government has plans to open banking hubs amid high street banking giants shutting a swathe of branches nationwide.

Labour warned: "Since 2022 alone, an additional 385 towns have seen their last bank branch close, or announce that they will be closing imminently. This has left local people and businesses without any options to bank locally."

It added: "Thriving high streets need banking services for local businesses and customers. Labour will roll out banking hubs to guarantee face-to-face banking in every community boosting local high streets and shops. The cost of opening and operating the hubs will be met collectively by the banks. "

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Labour’s shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, said: “After 14 years of the Tories, many of our high streets have been reduced to ghost towns. This election is a chance to vote for change to end the chaos and decline and make our high streets better off. Labour’s plan for growth means bringing banking back to high streets, with hundreds of new banking hubs that can support local communities and their businesses.”

The Lib Dems have said that they want to support banking hubs and are committed to “protecting access to cash, especially in remote areas”. These would come under a “national financial inclusion strategy” that would require the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority to give greater consideration to ensuring that banking and financial services are open to everyone.

It comes after Which? warned banks and building societies have closed 6,005 branches since January 2015, at a rate of around 53 each month. NatWest Group, which comprises NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank, has closed 1,360 branches - the most of any banking group. Lloyds Banking Group, made up of Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, has shut down 1,146 sites.

Barclays is the individual bank that has reduced its network the most, with 1,216 branches now closed.