Newcastle BS unveils new initiative to restore cash banking to UK high streets

Ellie Duncan
21 Apr 2022

Newcastle Building Society has partnered with cash automation solutions provider Glory and shared banking fintech OneBanks Hub for a pilot scheme that will restore UK high street cash banking for personal and business customers.

The new initiative will allow the customers of all major banking groups to withdraw cash and deposit notes and coins through the building society’s network of high street branches in regions that have been particularly affected by bank branch closures.

The initial pilot will take place in two Newcastle Building Society branches in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, which lost its last bank in 2021.

Newcastle Building Society said that through the scheme, it will install multi-bank transaction terminals enabled with Glory cash handling technology and OneBanks Hub software platform alongside its existing services. The terminals will offer access to all banks on the Open Banking network, giving customers of all the major UK banks the ability to use the service.

More than 4,000 bank and building society branches have closed in the UK since 2015, according to consumer group Which?, and another 220 are due to close this year.

Newcastle Building Society CEO Andrew Haigh said: “Decisions made by banks have been at the expense of many vulnerable people who are reliant on cash and, as a result, risk being disenfranchised from the financial system. We are proud to be the first to bring this unique proposition into mainstream financial services.

“It will provide customers with convenient access to cash withdrawal and deposits for people whose bank branch is no longer either local, or convenient.”

Haigh added that the pilot scheme is “a one-stop-solution if your local bank has closed” and called it “potentially transformational for our region”, given that it extends access to face-to-face services while increasing digital adoption and inclusion.

“The unique combination of our innovative approach to community branches and OneBanks’ technology proves that with the right commitment, there can be a bright new future for financial services on our high streets,” he said.

The first OneBanks Hub terminals within Newcastle Building Society branches will be fully operative later this year.

Duncan Cockburn, CEO of OneBanks Hub, said: “We developed OneBanks Hub to support communities without access to everyday banking, and this partnership with Newcastle Building Society and Glory shows how this can be delivered in a flexible, user-friendly way.”

Mark McCallum, country head UK and Ireland at Glory, added: “The new economics of branch banking, driven by changes in consumer behaviour, are presenting challenges to the traditional provision of in-person banking services, which can be solved for consumers by the shared infrastructure approach being adopted by Newcastle Building Society.”