DAB calls for post offices to fill banking void
Seven areas or estates do not have banks or ATMs, according to a recent survey that has prompted calls for post offices to offer banking services.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong checked banking facilities at major housing estates last month after receiving 158 complaints over the past three years about a lack of such services in the community. Nearly a third of the complaints were made by people in Tuen Mun.
The seven areas that did not have banking services were Tai Hang near Causeway Bay; Chun Seen Mei Chuen and Ma Tau Wai Estate in Kowloon City; King Tung Street in Wong Tai Sin; Rambler Crest in Tsang Yi; Sok Kwu Wan on Lamma Island; Shek Mun Estate in Sha Tin; and various villages in Sheung Shui.
DAB legislator Starry Lee Wai-king said people living in Chun Seen Mei Chuen needed to walk 15 to 30 minutes to the nearest bank or ATM.
'Our demand for ATMs [in these areas] is not unreasonable - an ATM is now a daily necessity,' Lee said. 'I think if there is at least one bank branch and one ATM in each housing estate, it can really facilitate the local residents.'
The survey also found that 15 other estates or areas, such as Hing Tung Estate and Tung Hei Court in Shau Kei Wan, had ATMs but no banks with service counters. Residents in these areas had access to only limited banking services in their community.
The political party urged the government to consider allowing post offices to set up some counters to offer simple banking services to customers.
For other remote areas, DAB suggested that banks launch mobile branches, similar to mobile libraries, to serve them.