A BRADFORD MP is holding talks to establish a banking hub in her area - amid concerns about physical bank branch closures. 

In Judith Cummins' Bradford South constituency, the closure of the last bank branch in 2022 means many people must now travel three miles to access in-person banking - making it much harder for them to get cash, pay money in or get face-to-face help.

It means a large chunk of Bradford is now a bank branch desert, with communities such as Wibsey, Wyke, Great Horton and Queensbury no longer having access to the services they once enjoyed.

In light of this, the Labour MP has been working with LINK, the UK's main cash machine network provider, to examine the challenges residents face accessing financial services in the Bradford South patch.

Following a review requested by Ms Cummins, LINK has agreed to visit Queensbury to complete an assessment to see if a local banking hub is suitable.

A banking hub is like a traditional bank branch but is available to everyone.

The hubs have a counter service where customers of all main banks can withdraw and deposit cash, make bill payments and carry our regular banking transactions.

The facilities have private spaces where people can see someone from their own bank on a rotating basis - so there will be staff from different banks available on different days.

Ms Cummins told the Telegraph & Argus: "Banking hubs are starting to be set up where there is a clear need for improved access to banking services.

"There is a strong case for Queensbury to have one and the opportunity to explore this possibility with LINK is exciting.

"Queensbury's location as one of the highest villages in England means that residents and the community's many thriving local businesses must either travel down into the city centres of Bradford or Halifax to get to their nearest branch.

"Everyone should be able to sort their banking locally, without having to travel miles and miles."

According to national consumer group Which?, banks and building societies have closed at an alarming rate in recent years - with more than 5,800 branches shutting since 2015.

Sam Richardson, deputy editor of Which? Money, said: "A closed bank branch isn't just a high street eyesore, but one less place for consumers to go to withdraw cash or access in-person banking services.

"Alternatives like banking hubs could help plug the gaps, but they are being rolled out too slowly, so more must be done to ensure communities get these replacements for their closed bank branches as soon as possible."