Last week I visited the newly opened banking counter at Faversham Post Office.
It's a huge boost for the town, after losing Lloyds, Barclays, and NatWest in the last two years. That left Nationwide as the only branch still open in the town.
As a market town we have people trading in cash all the time, and a constant need for withdrawals and deposits. At the time I tried to fight these closures, and asked the banks for assurances about access to cash in the town going forward.
The banks told me about The Cash Access Group - set up by the 10 largest UK retail banks, leading consumer groups and the Federation of Small Businesses, who provide cash and banking services in communities lacking the services they need.
I made the case for Faversham’s inclusion, and was delighted in September last year when the town was one of 16 locations named in trials.
Since then Cash Access UK, in partnership with the Post Office, have been working to improve cash deposit services for small businesses in Faversham, and recently completed a project to enhance the services available from Faversham’s Post Office.
The new services, which are initially being piloted, provide faster banking for the community - including new machines to make transactions quicker and a dedicated banking counter with priority queue. These will cut queuing time and provide a more private space to carry out transactions.
I know from experience that queues can be out the door of the Post Office since we lost those branches, and this new banking counter is a step in the right direction.
Faversham's not giving up on cash any time soon, and neither should our banks.