Cash pledge

Labour boost for high streets with 350 banking hubs

Access to cash is key for many consumers

Labour promises to create 350 ‘banking hubs’ in towns and villages across Britain over the next five years to help revive high streets.

About 6,000 bank branches have closed in the past decade, contributing to the creation of “ghost high streets” across Britain.

Labour says high street businesses – from pubs, to hairdressers, to grocery stores – depend on access to face-to-face banking.

Hubs provide access to cash withdrawals, deposits and banking advice and support. They are funded by the major banks, they are run by Cash Access UK and the Post Office.

The Conservatives have delivered 50 operational banking hubs as part of a voluntary arrangement with the banks.

Labour says that under the Conservatives’ scheme, numerous communities have seen their application to LINK, the UK’s largest cash machine network, for a banking hub denied. This includes Todmorden in West Yorkshire and Harpenden in Hertfordshire.

Labour will give new powers to the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and strengthen regulation to support LINK to proactively source locations for new banking hubs.

Ms 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.”

Research by London Economics that shows the move is expected to be worth £415 million for Britain’s high streets. 

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar will today urge all voters to think about the next generation of Scots when they cast their vote.

Launching the Scottish manifesto, he will say that more than 200,000 individuals in Scotland – including 40,000 young people – will receive a pay rise if Labour is elected at Westminster, by ending discriminatory age bands and introducing a “genuine living wage”.

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