At the end of March Santander announced that they will be closing 111 of their high street branches across the UK. This announcement included the Dagenham Heathway branch. Santander are one of many banks that have announced closures over the past 12 months.
Despite the pandemic cash still accounts for 25-30% of all payment transactions. It is estimated that around 8 million adults in the UK would struggle to manage their money without cash and 55% of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) do not accept cards and rely entirely on cash payments.
Jon Cruddas MP said: “This is another blow to local high streets as services and access to cash reduce, we are seeing the most deprived areas hit hardest. The government should be doing more to protect cash in our communities, securing services for those who rely on it for day-to-day living.”
In response to the announcement the Post Office has contacted Jon Cruddas providing assurances that their service at Dagenham Heathway will continue. A representative of the Post Office explained: “the Post Office at The Mall, Dagenham RM10 8RE is standing by ready to support customers in the local area with their everyday banking services. Customers can use Post Office branches to withdraw and deposit cash and cheques, as well as check their balance. Post Office serves 99% of all UK banking customers through the Banking Framework Agreement, which enables customers from over 30 banks, building societies and credit unions to access everyday banking services over our counters.”
Jon added: “the Post Office provides a valuable service, and with the changing role of high street banks it is good to know that elderly and often vulnerable residents will still have access to face-to-face services.”