High Street Banks and Banking Hubs - Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 3:13 pm ar 25 Ionawr 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton The Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury 3:13, 25 Ionawr 2024

My Lords, I very much appreciate the opportunity to return to the topic of access to cash and to face-to-face banking facilities. I really do appreciate the strength of feeling across the Chamber on this topic and am very grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Tyler, for securing today’s short debate.

The Government recognise that banks and building societies occupy a privileged place in society and are essential to enabling people to manage their money on a day-to-day basis. But it is undeniably the case that the nature of banking is shifting. First, there was a move to telephone banking; it took many of us quite a long time to get used to it, but you can now do pretty much anything that you could do face to face on telephone banking. There has subsequently been an ever-increasing number of customers opting for the convenience of online and mobile access. Some noble Lords have explained that they are of a vintage such that they feel that that is not for them. I accept that, but my mother, for example, is of the same vintage, and has embraced it very readily, so there are different people who will take a different view of that. Of course, telephone banking remains available.

If one looks at the hard facts here, in May 2022 only one-third of adults had been to any branch at all to undertake banking activities face to face in the previous 12 months.