BARROW'S MP has called for a new banking hub for the town, with high street bank branches on the decline.

Simon Fell said a hub would soon be opening in Ulverston following several bank closures, but Barrow needed to follow.

He has joined 56 others MPs in campaigning for a change in the rules around banking hubs to unlock more of them across the country.

They are making their views known to the Financial Conduct Authority, the regulator for LINK, the body responsible for assessing a community’s access to cash needs.

LINK can recommend a banking hub or a similar scheme for a particular area but usually only when the last bank in a town has closed.

The FCA is consulting on proposed changes to their rules, which include changing the last bank in town rule to one where LINK can intervene when the second-to-last bank in town closes instead. 

The 57 MPs, representing eight different parties in the House of Commons, have called FCA boss Nikhil Rathi  to grant LINK the ability to operate on a case-by-case basis and argue that when 'the direction of travel is clear… LINK should be able to recommend a banking hub' while a few branches remain.

The MPs argue that such a move would allow staff to be moved over to a banking hub more seamlessly and 'ensure that a community is not plunged into a limbo period' where they lose their access to cash.

Barrow's Barclays branch closed last year, with the banking chain claiming it had only ten regular customers.

Mr Fell said: “It is essential that resources such as banking hubs are in place where local residents can easily access in-person advice to help customers in their day-to-day financial services.

“I know just how necessary these services are for Barrow and Ulverston residents, and especially to support the visitor economy.

"The current framework which implements a hub only after the last bank closure of an area, is far too late, as the loss of banks directly impacts the viability of the high street as a whole.

"Thankfully Ulverston will soon be receiving a banking hub, but I want to see Barrow under consideration for one too.”