The big Dutch high street banks might be closing branches, but the Dutch government and RegioBank are working together to ensure people living in rural areas retain access to cashpoint machines and banking services, news agency ANP says on Monday.
Housing minister Stef Block and RegioBank chief executive Hans van den Bor will sign a deal to facilitate rural banking services in the Frisian village of Garyp later on Monday.
The bank, part of nationalised SNS Bank, will not get financial support from the state but the government will help with finding financial partners to operate ATMs and counter services. These could be private companies or local authorities, ANP says.
Regiobank has 530 branches nationwide, mainly in rural areas.
The government has already set up a trial project with the Spar supermarket group to keep shops in rural areas. RegioBank and SPAR are also working together to keep banking services in small villages.
In August it emerged the local council of Ubbergen in Gelderland had given RegioBank a €10,000 subsidy to set up a cash machine in a village of 1,800 people.
The ATM, in the Spar supermarket in the village of Leuth, is thought to be the first subsidised cash machine in the country.
The Dutch central bank says the number of ATMs has gone down 13% to 7,500 since 2008.
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