Senior appointments made to take Banking Hubs forward

In December 2021, the Cash Action Group (comprising all major banks, Nationwide, the Post Office, along with the Federation of Small Business, Age UK and Toynbee Hall) announced a landmark decision that any community that faces the closure of a core cash service, such as a bank branch or ATM, will have its needs independently assessed by LINK. If LINK determines that a new banking hub is required, the Banks have committed to set one up.

The CAG is therefore establishing a Banking Hub company to oversee the rollout of cash services across the UK. It has today appointed Gareth Oakley as its Chief Executive Officer and Amanda Bell as Delivery Director. Natalie Ceeney CBE, who chaired the Access to Cash Review and the Cash Action Group has agreed to Chair the new Banking Hub company.

Gareth Oakley joins from Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) with more than 30 years' banking experience. His most recent role was the Managing Director, Business Banking, with responsibility for one million small business customers, many of whom are key customers at banking hubs. Gareth also has a wealth of experience representing the banking industry, having chaired the UK Finance Commercial Committee.

As CEO, Gareth's role will be to lead the set-up of Banking Hubs across the UK, as LINK decide that they are required. Gareth will also lead the development of new services to support consumers and small businesses who need cash, including deposit services for local communities who don't have a full bank branch, and other innovation to support cash access and deposit needs.

Amanda Bell joins from her most recent position at TSB as Head of Branch Transformation. As Delivery Director, her role will use the 30 years' of experience in both retail and business banking to help engage with local communities and banks to manage the set-up of the Banking Hubs, ensuring that they work well.

Five new banking hubs were announced in December 2021 in Acton (West London), Brixham (Devon), Carnoustie (Angus), Knaresborough (North Yorks) and Syston (Leicestershire). The Cash Action Group is now working closely with community leaders to establish potential sites for the hubs in these locations. For other communities who feel that they need such a service, a process will be in place from the summer of 2022 to request an independent review of their community's cash needs.

Natalie Ceeney CBE, Chair:

It is fantastic to see the concept of Banking Hubs moving to a reality in communities across the UK, and setting up a company to take this work forward will give it focus and resources. I'm delighted that Gareth and Amanda are joining to lead the company, and the work. The fact we've secured such talented leaders to take forward this work demonstrates the level of commitment that the banks have to this project, and the opportunity that we have to make a real difference to communities.

Gareth Oakley, CEO

I?ve worked in banking all my life and I hope to bring a lot of passion to deliver something tangible and valuable for society and customers. I've seen first hand how much banking has changed over the past 15 years, but it's important to recognise that online and mobile solutions don't currently help everyone. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in and helping communities across the UK.

Amanda Bell, Delivery Director:

Although there have been significant changes in the way people shop, spend and access their money, accessing banking services and cash remains important to many customers. I'm looking forward to working with communities and the banks to establish these new Banking Hubs, ensuring people have access to the cash and banking services they need.

Area of expertise:

Notes to editor

  1. The Access to Cash Action Group is chaired by Natalie Ceeney CBE, supported by David Postings, CEO of UK Finance, as Deputy Chair. The group includes senior representatives from Barclays Bank UK PLC, HSBC UK Bank plc, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest Group plc, Santander UK plc, and TSB Bank plc, Age UK, Toynbee Hall, Post Office Ltd and LINK.
  2. The following banking institutions have signed up to the new approach and will contribute to funding from 2022 onwards: Barclays Bank UK plc, Danske Bank, HSBC UK Bank plc, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest Group plc, Santander UK plc, TSB Bank plc, Virgin Money (Clydesdale Bank). A number of other firms are actively considering joining the initiative.
  3. The "Banking Hub company" is a working title. The company will be set up as an independent entity, wholly owned by the banks, by the end of 2022. In the interim, it will work as a joint venture under a co-operation agreement between the banking members of the Access to Cash Action Group.