Opening of a banking hub in Carluke


Carluke’s last bank closed in June, so the move was warmly welcomed.

However, it has been announced that the town is one of 13 sites, including four in Scotland, earmarked for a shared banking centre.

Natalie Ceeney, who chairs the Cash Action Group overseeing the project, said: “Cash still means a lot to millions of people and with the cost of living crisis raging, more are turning to cash as a means of budget effectively. Banking hubs are an important part of the solution.

Every time a basic banking service such as an ATM or bank branch is closed, an assessment is made by Link – the organization that oversees the UK’s ATM network.

The review studies the cash needs of the community, as well as the demographics and vulnerability of local residents. Locations have been identified as part of this work.

Customers of any bank can use the hubs to access their accounts, deposit cash and checks, and withdraw money at any time. More difficult requests are handled by a representative from one of each of the major banks, who each visit once a week.

If the news was well received, a warning was also issued: ten other areas hitherto reserved for hubs have not yet seen their doors open.

Opening a hub can take months. In addition to finding suitable premises, changes are often necessary to ensure that they are fully accessible and sufficiently secure.

Clydesdale MSP Mairi McAllan has requested a meeting with Community Access to Cash Pilots, who run the scheme.

She said: “I am delighted that Carluke has been chosen as the location for a new banking centre, after successful trials.

“Access to cash and banking services is always very important to my constituents in Carluke and Clydesdale. After recent branch closures in the area, I want this to help fill the void left.

“I am in contact with Community Access to Cash to discuss how the new hub can meet the needs of Carluke voters.”

Angela Crawley, MP for Lanark and Hamilton East, worked with Mairi to keep banking services locally.

She said: “This is fantastic news for Carluke and I can’t wait to see how these plans progress.

“It was a shame to see the last bank in the larger town of Clydesdale close earlier this year. The town should never have been left without proper banking, so I’m glad to see it will be back.

Age Scotland also welcomed plans for a new shared banking center in Carluke, a positive move for older customers who have struggled to access cash since the last remaining bank branch closed.

Adam Stachura, the charity’s chief policy officer, said: ‘We have been calling for the introduction of banking centers for some time and we welcome plans to establish one in Carluke.

“However, banks should not absolve themselves of responsibility or rely on their creation to replicate the branches they have closed, or expect them to fully repair the damage they caused by dropping their customers and their communities.”

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