CLACKS residents may soon find it easier to withdraw money or pay in cheques with the introduction of bank hubs.

The UK Government released a new cash access policy statement, promising to guarantee that the vast majority of people and businesses are no further than three miles away from withdrawing cash.

A key component of this plan is to introduce ‘bank hubs’ across the country – wherein people can access basic banking services, like withdrawing and depositing cash, without having to travel extensively to their nearest bank.

Andrew Griffith, education secretary to the treasury, said: “Whilst the growing choice and convenience of digital payments is great, cash has an important and continuing role to play.

“That’s why we are taking action to protect access to cash in law and laying out that this means fee-free withdrawals and the availability of cash facilities within a reasonable distance.

“People shouldn’t have to trek for hours to withdraw a tenner to put in someone’s birthday card – nor should businesses have to travel large distances to deposit cash takings.

“These are measures which benefit everyone who uses cash but particularly those living in rural areas, the elderly and those with disabilities.”

The move has been met with praise from Clacks MSP Keith Brown and Stirling MP Alyn Smith, who vowed to guarantee the move is beneficial for Stirling and Clackmannanshire.

The news will come as a relief to people in the Hillfoots, who face a trip to Alloa or sometimes Stirling to access banking services, with the closing of several banks across the country.

Mr Brown and Mr Smith sent a joint letter to the Chancellor to clarify what the qualifying criteria would be for a banking hub – in order to ensure Clackmannanshire and Stirling can regain access to bank services.

Their letter reads: “This announcement is welcomed by both of us – we represent many towns and villages which have been negatively impacted by the recent swathe of bank closures.

“We are therefore interested in the finer details of this plan.

“We are aware that so-called bank hubs – where local residents can withdraw cash free of charge and access other banking services – are a crucial part of this plan.

“Many parts of Clackmannanshire constituency in the Scottish Parliament would benefit from one of these hubs.

“Can you outline what the criteria is for an area to qualify for one of these bank hubs?”