Plans to bring new banking hub to Fife town

Residents and businesses in Burntisland will soon find it easier to access banking services thanks to the addition of a new banking hub in the town.
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LINK, the UK’s cash access and ATM network, has recommended a banking hub following a request from the local community for an access to cash review.

Banking hubs are shared banking spaces, similar to a traditional bank branch, but available to everyone – no matter who you bank with.

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Post Office employees would operate a counter service where customers of any bank can withdraw and deposit cash, make bill payments and carry out regular transactions.

A new banking hub could be located on Burntisland High Street in future.A new banking hub could be located on Burntisland High Street in future.
A new banking hub could be located on Burntisland High Street in future.

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

Although the counter would be run by Post Office employees, there would be no Post Office specific services on offer.

Banking hubs can be recommended by LINK through a community request or following the announcement of the closure of a bank branch in a location. Successful recommendations are determined by factors including the number of shops in the area, demographics and proximity to other banking services.

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The banking hub in Burntisland will now be delivered by Cash Access UK and over the next few weeks it will begin to engage with the local community. The hub will likely open in 12 months time.

It has been suggested that the new banking hub may be located in the old office on the ground floor of the Burgh Chambers.

Nick Quin, head of financial inclusion for LINK, said: “We’re very pleased to recommend a new hub in Burntisland. There are millions of people in the UK who are not ready to go cashless and prefer to conduct their banking face-to-face. If a community believes that it needs additional cash services, they can contact LINK directly and we can assess whether we can recommend new services such as a cash machine or banking hub.”

News of the proposal has been well received in the town.

Councillor Kathleen Leslie said: “It is fantastic news for the people of Burntisland that a new banking hub has been proposed. In recent years far too many high street banks have closed their doors as more services move online.

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"However, that does not work for everyone and not everything can be dealt with by tapping on a keyboard. That face to face interaction of being able to actually speak with a person is not something that can be replaced.

"Banking hubs across the UK have meant that those who do not want to go cashless or who prefer to speak with an advisor can continue to do so.

“Proposals to base this in the Burgh Chambers on the ground floor is also most welcome. Ensuring historic assets in our towns continue to be used is vital to the local community and also ensure our heritage continues to be preserved."

While SNP Councillor Lesley Backhouse said she welcomed the interest in developing a banking hub on the High Street. “It’s a key ask in the Community Action Plan since the closure of the TSB over five years ago,” she said.

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"We have numerous businesses in the town who still use cash. Being able to do banking locally saves time and travel costs. Our summer fair and visitors and residents will benefit alike.”

She added: “It isn’t a done deal yet so I hope Fife Council can move quickly to take advantage of this proposal and get a much loved empty property back into use.”

Councillor Julie MacDougall said she was “delighted” about the news, adding: “Not everyone has online access or indeed wishes to use this as some prefer face to face so this is vital for our community.”

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