Three of the ‘big four’ UK banks – Lloyds, Barclays and NatWest are opening six shared ‘business banking hubs’ aimed at serving smaller businesses over the next few weeks.
The first shared centre, in Perry Barr, Birmingham, is already open for business and five more will follow in Manchester, Crosby, London, Leicestershire and Bristol, enabling business customers of the three banks to conduct transactions through a shared facility.
“We have listened to what our business customers really want from our cash services,” said Alison Rose, deputy CEO of NatWest and CEO of NatWest Commercial and Private Banking.
“It is now more important than ever that we continue to offer innovative services, and we are creating an infrastructure that allows small business owners and entrepreneurs to do what they do best – run their business.”
The three participating banks add that the hubs are specifically designed to enable businesses managing cash and cheque transactions to pay in large volumes of coins, notes and cheques and complete cash exchange transactions. The shared facilities will be managed by cash management vendors G4S and Vaultex.
Despite widespread UK branch closures in recent years, they also stress that the pilot is designed to complement existing branch networks. Each business banking hub is available on a trial basis to pre-selected business clients in each local area and will open seven days a week, offering extended opening hours of 8am to 8pm.
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