British banks Lloyds Bank, Natwest and Barclays are joining forces to evaluate what will be the country’s first shared business banking hubs that will enable their business customers to carry out transactions through a shared facility.
The hubs will be branded as ‘Business Banking Hub’ and will be opened in Birmingham, Manchester, Crosby, London, Leicestershire and Bristol.
The partners have opened the first of the business banking hubs in Perry Barr, Birmingham, and intend to open the other five in the coming weeks.
NatWest deputy CEO and NatWest commercial and private banking CEO Alison Rose said: “We have listened to what our business customers really want from our cash services. It is now more important than ever that we continue to offer innovative services, and we are creating an infrastructure that allows small business owners and entrepreneurs to do what they do best – run their business.
“I look forward to continued working with fellow banks to ensure the UK’s businesses are getting the support they deserve.”
According to Lloyds Bank, the business banking hubs have been particularly designed to allow businesses that manage cash and check transactions to pay in huge volumes of coins, notes and checks and complete cash exchange transactions.
The services at the business banking hubs will be trialed to pre-selected business clients in each local area to offer business and corporate customers increased flexibility to handle their day-to-day finances.
Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking SME and Mid Corporates managing director Paul Gordon said: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy. We constantly strive to provide our SME customers with options that make simple banking transactions more accessible and convenient.
“The Business Banking hub pilot is being explored as an additional route for firms looking for flexible banking. Working collaboratively with other high street banks means more businesses will benefit.”
The pilot business banking hubs will be managed by cash management vendors G4S and Vaultex and will be opened seven days a week with operating hours of 8am to 8pm.
Earlier this year, Lloyds Banking Group announced a commitment of £18bn gross lending to UK businesses in 2019. The lending is expected to help entrepreneurs planning to begin a new business, micro-businesses looking to scale up and small businesses, which are aiming to trade globally for the first time.