The premises, managed by the Post Office, include counter services, ATMs and, crucially, the opportunity for local businesses to deposit cash.
The trials, in Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, and Rochford, Essex, were due to finish in October, but have been extended to April 2023.
The government is consulting on plans to protect community banking services.
The trials allow a member of staff from a different bank to come into the hub once a week to help with trickier transactions.
Throughout the week, the counter service and machines allow individuals and small business owners to access accounts, and to withdraw and deposit notes and coins.
Revitalising Rural: Realising the Vision is a campaign led by the Rural Services Network to challenge Government on a number of policy areas that affect rural communities.
The campaign features on a number of topics which are pertinent across rural communities and one of these areas is Rural Town Centres and High Streets.
Two specific asks in the Rural Town Centre and High Streets section which are relevant to the above news story are shown below:
Bank branches: the code which banks follow before closing a branch needs strengthening, so that decisions can be challenged and reversed. Branch closures continue at pace and the self-implemented code is little more than a box-ticking exercise. The Payment Systems Regulator should follow-up its recent report on access to cash by monitoring the trend in rural areas. Alongside this, protecting the Post Office network is also very important.
ATMs: despite the rapid recent rise in cashless payments, rural people need free and local access to cash to go about their daily lives. Lack of free access impacts disproportionately on certain groups and many small rural businesses rely on cash. Proposals allowing retailers to give cash back without another purchase are welcome, but they will not provide 24/7 access. Government and bodies managing the financial payments system should consider changing how the free-to-use ATM network is funded. For example, the interchange fee could be set independently to reflect transactions costs fairly. A tiered system could be introduced, with lower fees for clustered city centre ATMs and higher fees to protect rural ATMs.
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