Call for local bank service

WITH closure of some of Huntingdonshire s post offices likely next year – and with them local businesses access to convenient banking services – small business leaders are backing a national campaign for community banking services. Since 1990, 40 per cen

WITH closure of some of Huntingdonshire's post offices likely next year - and with them local businesses' access to convenient banking services - small business leaders are backing a national campaign for community banking services.

Since 1990, 40 per cent of bank branches in the UK have closed, making it hard for many businesses to access the banking services they need, particularly in rural areas, said Malcolm Lyons, chairman of the Huntingdonshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.

The FSB has thrown its weight behind the Campaign for Community Banking Services, a coalition of 25 national organisations concerned about bank branch closures, financial exclusion, community sustainability and the environment.

Mr Lyons said: "Nearly two thirds of small businesses need to visit their bank weekly and one in 10 do so every day. These small businesses generate over 50 per cent of UK GDP, so a comprehensive network of bank branches is essential.


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"A good local banking network also ticks the environmental boxes. Branch closures add considerably to carbon emissions as customers and businesses have to drive further, and also increase small business costs, hitting retailers and other local services."

The campaign's Derek French said: "Shared branching in particular is very flexible and could be introduced at little or no cost by the big banks with benefit to hundreds of vulnerable communities.

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