Bank closure concerns raised in Senedd

Speaking in a Senedd debate this week, Clwyd West Assembly Member Darren Millar raised local concerns about bank closures in his constituency.

Darren last month accused banks of “undertaking a coordinated assault on our communities” following news that Yorkshire Building Society and HSBC will be closing their Abergele branches and the earlier closure of NatWest in the town and the announced closure of its Ruthin branch.   

Speaking in Wednesday’s debate on Banking Services, he said:

“There are three banks that are currently threatened with closure in my own constituency at the moment, two of them in a single town in Abergele, which also saw another bank closure just a couple of years ago. Last time it was the NatWest branch that closed and this time it is the HSBC and the Yorkshire Building Society branches that are under threat. 

“Ruthin's NatWest branch has also been earmarked for closure in spite of the significant distances that many customers will face to get to other branches and the fact that it may put the future of one of the finest, historic, timber framed buildings in the country, dating from the 15th Century, under threat.

"On behalf of my constituents, who feel very let down by the banks, I have made representations to the organisations concerned and expressed my very strong objections to their plans, both in terms of the impact on their customers and their staff, who face a great deal of uncertainty over their future. 

He added: “I am encouraging the banks to maintain their branches or, at the very least some sort of presence in the towns, and in fairness to the Yorkshire Building Society and the NatWest they are looking at how they can do this. 

"But we really need to see a long term plan to secure banking services in local communities so that everyone can access face to face services close to where they live. Sharing premises, the development of partnerships with other firms, and mobile banking services may help to achieve this aim."