The chief executive of the Suffolk branch of an advice charity has called for better access to banking services for residents after new government plans to protect cash were revealed. 

The Treasury has said all people and businesses should be no more than three miles away from the ability to withdraw or deposit cash and, if a cashpoint or cash access facility is being shut down, a replacement should be brought in before the closure takes place. 

The Financial Conduct Authority has also been given powers to protect the provision of cash access services and will use these to make sure banks and building societies are keeping up to standards, with the power to fine them if they are not. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Chiara Saunders, chief executive of Citizens Advice East SuffolkChiara Saunders, chief executive of Citizens Advice East Suffolk (Image: Alison Moor, Archant)

While Chiara Saunders, chief executive of Citizens Advice East Suffolk, welcomes the push for cash access, she said more needs to be done to protect banking provisions on the whole. 

"Ensuring that people have access to cash machines is a positive step but people need more than access to cash," Ms Saunders said.

"Many people need access to banking services in general. So although this news is welcome, it would be better for many in our communities if banking hubs were established to replace the closing high street branches." 

Banking hubs are shared spaces on the high street where customers of multiple banks can get basic face-to-face banking help, deposit and withdraw cash and make bill payments.

East Anglian Daily Times: Therese Coffey has welcomed Treasury plansTherese Coffey has welcomed Treasury plans (Image: PA)

Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, said she warmly welcomes the plans announced by the Treasury.

"Many people in Suffolk Coastal, especially the elderly and most vulnerable rely on free withdrawals and deposits of cash - and it’s also critical for our many small businesses," she said.

"I particularly welcome the new powers for the financial conduct authority, which ensures people will have access to a cashpoint within three miles, crucial for rural areas like Suffolk."

East Anglian Daily Times: Framlingham Barclays, which closes on August 25Framlingham Barclays, which closes on August 25 (Image: Newsquest)

This comes as several bank branches in Suffolk towns have closed their doors in the last year, including HSBC and Barclays in Sudbury, Barclays in Newmarket and Barclays in Mildenhall.

The last bank in Framlingham, also a Barclays, is set to close on August 25.