A building society is not looking to roll out cash machines across its Suffolk branches 'at present,' but is looking at how it can best serve the needs of the population.

Last week, Julia Ewart, prospective parliamentary candidate for the Suffolk Coastal constituency, said that she had been approached by Suffolk Building Society with a view to providing a machine called 'Gloria' at its outlets, which does in-house banking.

The aim of the initiative is to support communities that have lost High Street banking services as part of a switch to online banking, which has raised concerns about the exclusion of the elderly and less mobile who may not have access to the internet.

READ MORE: Suffolk Building Society moves to new Sudbury premises

A number of banks have closed their doors for good in the county in recent months and years, with Barclays closing in Framlingham, Woodbridge and Southwold, while HSBC has also pulled out of Woodbridge.

Barclays is also set to be closing its Leiston branch on May 17, which prompted an outcry, protests and petitions against the closure, with one by current Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey collecting more than 600 signatures.

East Anglian Daily Times: Julia Ewart, prospective parliamentary candidate for Suffolk Coastal, said she had been approached by Suffolk Building SocietyJulia Ewart, prospective parliamentary candidate for Suffolk Coastal, said she had been approached by Suffolk Building Society (Image: Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats)The possibility of creating banking hubs to replace the branches has been mooted and last week cash machine operator LINK said it was reviewing a decision to reject a banking hub for Leiston.

But Julia said: "Suffolk Building Society is looking at whether it can support the community to have these machines, which are more sophisticated than LINK.

READ MORE: Suffolk Building Society in Sudbury could move into new unit

"They will take cash and take money from the public who need to put money back into their bank accounts."

The building society's chief executive Richard Norrington said: "As those who attended our AGM last month will have heard, we are hugely committed to maintaining our local presence and serving our local community but we must balance this with the need to manage costs, to ensure that we can also continue to provide competitive mortgage and savings products for our members.  

"With this in mind, we do not have any plans to roll out ATM or similar cash-handling technology within our branches at present but it is true to say that we are always looking at how we can best serve as much of the local population as possible."

He said the society's 'bricks and clicks' model aimed to combine the 'best of modern convenience' with a traditional 'face-to-face' service.

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