Customers in Royston have raised concerns about the loss of banking services, as the 175-year-old Lloyds building is set to give way to a banking hub.

The Royston branch of Lloyds is set to close in June, and last month Labour councillors demanded action on the banking hub - which was first promised in September.

Meldreth resident Chris Walls, who uses Lloyds in Royston, enquired in the branch about where the nearest counter would be after the closure, and was handed a leaflet about the banking hub from Cash Access UK.

Chris said: "The cashier said that they had not found a building yet. She also said that if and when a banking hub is established, Lloyds will only have a representative once per week and their ability will be limited as they won't have access to...wait for it...a printer.

Royston Crow: The leaflet from Cash Access UKThe leaflet from Cash Access UK (Image: Chris Walls)

"We villagers need our nearest town functional and welcoming when we trek in with our carts and donkeys."

Royston Palace district councillors Chris Hinchliff and Cathy Brownjohn wrote to Cash Access UK - an organisation made up of nine banks - saying that convenient access to banking services is an "essential requirement" for the future of the town.

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald has also written to Lloyds Bank asking why their building, or part of it, is not being used for the banking hub.

He said: "It’s not good enough to leave a town like Royston without the proposed banking hub and I am pressing for urgent action."

A spokesperson for Lloyds Bank said: "As many customers now choose to bank through their mobile app or online, visits to our Royston branch have fallen over recent years. 

"Customers can use the local Post Office for everyday banking which is a short walk away, and access cash at the nearby free-to-use ATMs.

"Customers can also manage their money online, by calling us, or at the new banking hub once it is up and running."

A Cash Access UK spokesman explained that once a banking hub recommendation is made it typically takes around 12 months to open, and that finding a suitable location in Royston is "proving to be difficult".

The spokesman added: "Banking hubs are making a real difference to those people who still rely on cash and face-to-face banking services and we’re excited to be opening one in Royston.


"The banking hub will allow customers of nearly all the main high street banks to be served under one roof.

"All customers can come in everyday of the week to do basic transactions such as paying bills or withdrawing cash.

"Alongside this, there is a rotating community banker from the banks, allowing customers with more specific queries to speak to their bank on the day they’re in the hub.

"The feedback from the 44 hubs we’ve opened to date has been fantastic."