Keeping cash on the High Street: Communities set to pilot cash access schemes will be revealed this week

They include 'shared' bank branches that customers of all the big banks will be able to use.  Shared branches, where the supporting banks all contribute to their running costs, have long been championed by campaigners such as former banker Derek French who believe they would help sustain communities and maintain access to cash.  Prior to coronavirus, hundreds of towns had already seen their high streets adversely impacted by the closure of the last bank and the widespread removal of free-to-use cash machines.  It is expected further branch and ATM closures are now inevitable as banks seek to trim costs and mitigate losses stemming from economic lockdown.  A number of communities are keen to see if a shared branch would be a revitalising force and have recommended to the board that they should act as guinea pigs.  Among them are Ampthill in Bedfordshire; Woodstock in Oxfordshire; and Barton-upon-Humber in North Lincolnshire. Coronavirus has quickened this decline with many businesses now only accepting contactless or card payments, so the board is keen to get the pilots off the ground as quickly as possible.