Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion and Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has raised the impact of bank branch closures on local communities during a debate in Parliament that took place on Thursday 30th June.
The motion, which was submitted by Mark Williams and a cross-party group of MPs, noted the concern about continued bank branch closures and the damage that it has caused to local communities, small businesses and the welfare of senior citizens, and also called for Government help to maintain access to local banking.
Mark said “I was glad to have the opportunity to raise this important issue in Parliament. This is something which is of huge concern to people in rural communities across Wales, and throughout other parts of the UK.
“With the number of bank branches having halved over the past several decades, there is a real problem of access for many people in small communities. Yes, there has been an increase in internet and distance banking, but for many this can be difficult or impossible to access, often due to bad or non-existent broadband.
“Physical access to a branch is not only crucial for those without quality broadband access, but also for many local businesses, who rely on their branch to cash their takings, and for local residents who need face-to-face advice.
“A physical bank branch, like a Post Office, is something which is important for a vibrant high street. Unfortunately, both of these have been in decline for many years, and it is time that Government faced up to this problem and took action to protect our communities.”