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"Betrayal" to town as bank set to close

Created on 05/08/2017 @ 07:53
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Barclays Bank has today come under fire after it was revealed it is to close its retail branch in Llanidloes. leaving no banks in the town.

Barclays has confirmed in a letter to Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George, that it intend to close the only remaining bank in the town on 10th November.

In the letter, Barclays say customers will be expected to travel to Newtown to use the nearest Barclays branch or use the Post Office for transactions such as paying in cheques or depositing cash.

Mr George is meeting with Llanidloes Town Council on Monday to discuss the matter further.

He said: “When Barclays reduced its opening days at the branch two years ago, I met with bank officials then, and firmly made the point that the decision should not be a slippery slope to complete closure.

“They assured me at the time that having branches on the High Street was still very much part of their plans.

“I’m therefore angry and disappointed at Barclays' decision to close its branch in Llanidloes which simply does not reflect the commitments they made to me just two years ago.

“The bank has betrayed the people of Llanidloes and the surrounding areas.”

He added: "They know full well that it is the only remaining branch in the town and unilateral decisions like these only confirm that these giant banking groups have absolutely no regard for communities in Mid Wales who rely on their services.

County Councillor Phyl Davies who represents the Blaen Hafren ward, and who also met with Barclays officials two years ago said: "It is inconceivable for a town the size of Llanidloes to have no over the counter banking facilities whatsoever and I will be doing everything I can to change this decision.

“I believe Barclays will be sent a loud and clear message from the people of Llanidloes that there is overwhelming public support for the branch to remain. I believe they are treating loyal customers with contempt."

Mr George recently raised the issue of Mid Wales bank closures with the First Minister in the National Assembly for Wales, once again calling for a new community banking model which would preserve the presence of banks on Powys’ high streets.

Mr George said: “The First Minister has previously joined me in recognising the serious situation which communities face when it comes to the loss of their banking services and I'm pleased that he has agreed to take up my calls to facilitate a discussion with the banks, the regulators and other partners to explore a new community banking model which would see banks share premises and services rather than close their doors for good.

“It is clear when speaking to local people that while the transfer of banking services to mobile or online banking works for some people, it doesn’t always replace permanent over the counter facilities, especially for businesses or those residents who are elderly or disabled.

"I will be once again calling for the Welsh Government to exert some pressure to ensure that an adequate alternative solution is found before any permanent closure takes place to prevent banks leaving our communities in the lurch."

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