'No plans' for banking hub in Market Harborough - yet

Barclays, HSBC and Natwest all left the town this year due to falling customer numbers and more people choosing to bank online.
MP Neil O'Brien outside Market Harborough Building SocietyMP Neil O'Brien outside Market Harborough Building Society
MP Neil O'Brien outside Market Harborough Building Society

A banking hub will not be created in Market Harborough – yet.

Barclays, HSBC and Natwest all left the town this year due to falling customer numbers and more people choosing to bank online.

It means Lloyds, Santander, Nationwide and Market Harborough Building Society are the only branches left.

HSBC says more than nine out of ten banking transactions are now done online, but 36 per cent of its users in Harborough relied on in-branch services.

Natwest said its face-to-face transactions had fallen 64 per cent in the town over the past three years, while Barclays said just 22 people used its services regularly.

Despite the loss of local banking services, there are no plans for a banking hub to be created in the town.

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien says he contacted Link, which runs hub services like the one in Lutterworth which launched when the last bank closed.

He said: “Nine out of ten people are now are banking online, and as a result, banks have shut branches all over the country, including in Market Harborough sadly.

“But many people still want or need access to a branch, so I am working to ensure we keep that locally.

“When the last bank in Lutterworth closed down, a banking hub was created to ensure continuing access to a branch. I have spoken to Link, the body that runs that hub service, and we talked about what we would do if Market Harborough got into that position. The banks would agree to a banking hub, but only if there are no more high street banks in town – and Market Harborough isn’t currently in that position.

“But I’ve been exploring where abouts a hub could go if we needed one, as it is good to have a fallback plan if we do see further closures. I meet a lot of constituents who still do prefer to use cash and to visit the bank in person, and I will make sure that that is always available for them whatever happens.”