Plans have been submitted for a new HSBC "cash pod" in Harpenden, after the town's last High Street bank closed its doors.

Barclays, at 16 High Street, closed for good on Wednesday (September 6).

If plans are approved, a new HSBC automated cash machine would sit at 1 High Street, the location of the bank's former branch in the town, which officially shut on July 18.


HSBC own the freehold to the site and now plan to turn its eastern half into a 'community cash pod' (CCP).

The bank have confirmed that the western half of the site "will be marketed".

What is a CCP?

HSBC's CCPs are "designed to provide access to cash for customers who have historically relied on branch services but may struggle to travel to a branch".

Herts Advertiser: The proposed CCP in Harpenden.The proposed CCP in Harpenden. (Image: St Albans City and District Council / HSBC)

The CCPs are also aimed at those who have "low financial or digital capability who may find it difficult to use online or telephone banking".

A new door and associated advertising are also included in the plans.

A spokesperson for HSBC said: "The introduction of the Cash Pod will enable the withdrawal and deposit of money for HSBC UK customers, in addition to the withdrawal of cash for non-HSBC UK customers.

"The Cash Pod will be a state-of-the-art machine that will recycle the cash from deposits to make it available for withdrawal.

"This is different to current machines which are either one or the other.

"The recycling of cash will mean fewer refills of the machine which will have environmental benefits as transporting cash to and from the machine in addition to the improved security surrounding that.

"The planning process is being worked through, but we are keen to get approval for it and be able to provide this service to the community as soon as we can."

The bank will be hosting three pop up events in September, in Harpenden library.

Herts Advertiser: HSBC own the freehold of the site.HSBC own the freehold of the site. (Image: St Albans City & District Council / HSBC)

HSBC's plans can be viewed online via the St Albans City & District Council planning portal, using reference 5/2023/1704.

The latest on Harpenden's Banking Hub

With Halifax, Santander and others having closed in recent years, the MP for Harpenden and Hitchin - Bim Afolami - has been campaigning for a banking hub to be introduced to the town.

This would allow banking services from multiple building societies and banks to be made available at a single branch in Harpenden.

Herts Advertiser: Bim Afolami MP has been campaigning for a Banking Hub in the town.Bim Afolami MP has been campaigning for a Banking Hub in the town. (Image: Bim Afolami MP)

In February 2023, Harpenden's town council applied to have a banking hub set up in Harpenden.

In June, the council's town clerk - Carl Cheevers - provided an update: "We received confirmation from LINK that following an assessment, Harpenden does not qualify for a full Banking Hub as there is a branch of Nationwide Building Society acting as the ‘last bank in town.

"We believe that it is an anomaly that Nationwide Building Society should be seen as acting as the ‘last bank in town’.

"It is not a bank, nor does it offer banking services to businesses and other similar organisations such as clubs and charities."

Harpenden Town Council has written to the Financial Conduct Authority proposing that it uses Harpenden as a pilot by establishing a banking hub in the town.