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Banks: Rural Areas

Question for Treasury

UIN 237768, tabled on 27 March 2019

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of establishing banking hubs in rural locations.

Answered on

4 April 2019

Decisions on opening and closing bank branches are taken by the management team of each bank on a commercial basis. Banks themselves are best placed to make these commercial decisions based on their strategies. However, the Government has and will continue to encourage providers to think creatively about the merits of alternative models including in rural areas.

Existing services, such as the Post Office, already offer a range of banking services across an extensive network that ensures essential banking facilities remain available in as many communities as possible. Individual and small business customers can withdraw money, deposit cash and cheques and check balances at 11,500 Post Office branches in the UK.

Since 2010, Post Office branch numbers have been at their most stable for decades and 99% of the national population now lives within three miles of a branch. Furthermore, 93% of the national population live within one mile of their nearest post office branch. Almost 98.7% of the rural population lives within 3 miles of a post office.

Answered by

Treasury