Leading banks in the UK have formed a company to support shared banking hubs and ensure that customers have access to cash as banks shutter branches.

Called Cash Access UK, the independent non-profit company is funded by nine lenders and building societies to protect cash access in UK communities, the trade association UK Finance said. 

Banks supporting the cause include BarclaysHSBCLloyds Banking GroupNationwide Building SocietyNatWest GroupSantanderVirgin MoneyDanske Bank and TSB.

Services provided by the new entity include cash access, deposit and basic banking services. 

UK Finance chief executive David Postings said: “While many people are now opting to manage their money digitally, we want to ensure that people can continue to access cash and do their banking face to face too. 

“The creation of Cash Access UK is an important step towards a network of banking hubs across the country. So far 29 hubs have been announced and the industry is fully behind getting these up and running as quickly as possible.”

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In December 2021, major retail banks in the UK, Age UK, Toynbee Hall, Post Office, and ATM network Link collaborated through the Access to Cash Action Group (CAG), a UK Finance-led initiative, to ensure access to cash. 

In recent years, multiple UK banks have reduced their branch network and shared banking hubs have evolved as a way for lenders to offer banking services to customers in regions where operating a physical branch is not financially viable. 

Last month, HSBC announced plans to trim its UK branch network by 114 from April 2023.