MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, Patricia Gibson, visited Kilbirnie Post Office last Friday on National Save Our Cash Day.

This campaign extends some of the work she has undertaken in recent years, that focused on bank closures and financial exclusion, and calls on the UK Government to ensure local access to cash becomes a legal right for those who need it.

Mrs Gibson said: “I have long been concerned about banks leaving behind our communities without so much as a backward glance.

“North Ayrshire has several towns where there is now no bank at all, as the number of branches across the UK has been slashed by more than a third in the last five years.

“These closures have pushed people to bank online, whether we want to or not, and run alongside a cut to fees banks pay to cash machine operators, which reduces free-to-use cash machine availability, particularly in socially deprived areas. Effectively, we are being forced to go cashless.”

While moving from cash and towards digital payments suits some people, consumer body Which? found that 85 per cent of us would find it difficult to live without cash. In the UK 1.3 million adults don’t have a bank account at all.

She continued: “The cash network is under increasing strain, pushing it ever closer to collapse. Following bank branch closures, the post office network has become vital in allowing people to continue accessing their bank accounts, and their cash.

Patricia added: “An agreement between the Post Office and 30 UK banks, building societies and credit unions ensures people have free access to their cash and vital everyday banking services at post offices. However, this agreement is only for three years.”