MORE calls have been made to introduce new banking hubs in Chipping Sodbury and Thornbury.

Luke Hall MP officially launched a campaign last month to bring back face-to-face cash and banking in the area.

It has now been supported by residents in Chipping Sodbury as well as South Gloucestershire Councillor Becky Romaine and Matt Lew from the Horseshoe Pub.

In recent years many high street bank branches have closed in the area, leaving many without easy access to banking services.

Banking hubs are owned by Cash Access UK and operated by the Post Office.

Customers at the hubs can carry out regular cash transactions including from Barclays, Lloyds Bank, HSBC, NatWest and TSB.

The hubs also offer a community banker service where customers can talk to their own banking provider about more complicated banking issues.

Cash access and ATM network operator LINK must first carry out an assessment to decide whether new services are required.

Mr Hall met with LINK representatives last month.

During his meeting, the MP requested that Thornbury and Chipping Sodbury be considered for a banking hub.

"Despite modern innovations, we do not live in a cashless society," Mr Hall said.

"People still require banks, and banking hubs and similar schemes are the solution to this."

He also wrote to the Financial Conduct Authority, who will be taking over responsibility for the operation of banking hubs from later this year.

He stated that he has requested to ensure Thornbury is eligible for a banking hub, despite the fact that town still has one bank, Lloyds.

Mr Hall added: "I have been clear with the Financial Conduct Authority that we must move away from a "last bank in town" rule to a rule where LINK can assess each community uniquely and properly protect access to cash.

"Here in South Gloucestershire, there is an obvious need for banking hubs and a real demand for easier access to everyday bank services.

"I will continue to work to secure these services for Thornbury's and Chipping Sodbury's High Streets and our surrounding villages."

Three banks in Thornbury closed in 2022, including HSBC, TSB, and NatWest, while Barclays closed in 2019. The Co-operative Bank also previously left the town.

Meanwhile HSBC and Barclays in Yate closed in 2021.

Elsewhere in Chipping Sodbury, NatWest closed in 2018, Lloyds shut in 2016 and The Co-operative Bank closed in 2014.