Over the past years, Prestatyn has lost branches of TSB, Barclays, Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, HSBC and some building societies. This left Prestatyn High Street without a single bank or cash machine, despite being a busy regional shopping centre.
Following a successful campaign to reinstate cash machines within the High Street, I turned my focus to the revival of banking services within the town centre.
A landmark agreement at the start of 2022 led to banks and leading consumer groups forming a “Cash Action Group”. LINK took on the role of assessing the impact of proposed bank branch closures on communities. As of 4th July 2022, the agreement was extended to include communities where bank closures have already taken place. LINK can recommend new cash services, such as banking hubs and ATMs, according to the cash access needs in each community. New services will then be delivered by a new banking hub company set up by the banks, or, in the case of ATMs, by LINK.
The Government’s Financial Services and Markets Bill puts this very welcome voluntary arrangement on a statutory footing.
I led discussions with LINK to highlight Prestatyn’s need for face-to-face banking facilities and put the town forward for assessment for a banking hub. I also raised Prestatyn’s need for banking services within a number of Parliamentary debates.
I arranged for LINK to visit Prestatyn for a second time, for a tour of the town centre. The purpose of this visit was to provide context to data being used in the decision making progress and to illustrate the real need locally for a banking hub within the town centre. During the visit, LINK also spoke with a number of business owners, who reiterated the need for easier access to banking services in the town.
I was therefore delighted when LINK confirmed Prestatyn will be home to a Banking Hub and I am looking forward to the Hub opening its doors at the end of this year. The Hub will be in the former HSBC building at the bottom of Prestatyn High Street and will accommodate Halifax, NatWest, Barclays, Santander and HSBC.
I have already made contact with the Operator of the new Hub and look forward to welcoming him to the town.
I know that the Banking Hub will be appreciated by many.