Call for review over bank branch closures in Wales and Shropshire

An MP today called for a national review into bank branch closures.

Call for review over bank branch closures in Wales and Shropshire

Susan Elan Jones has called on a top parliamentary select committee to review how closures across the region would impact small and medium-sized businesses.

Banking giant HSBC has axed several branches across Shropshire and Mid Wales in recent months.

Chirk, Llanfyllin, Llanfair Caereinion and Ruabon are among those deemed no longer viable.

Other towns to lose branches are Whitchurch and Market Drayton, as well as the Harlescott Cattle Market branch in Shrewsbury.

In a separate move yesterday it was revealed Co-op Bank is closing its branch in Wellington.

The Clwyd South MP said: "I've already met with Iain Wright MP, Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee and he seemed very keen on my idea that there should be a full inquiry into bank closures, and access to finance for small and medium-sized companies.

"Select Committees in Parliament are cross-party and one of the things that is so important about them is that the Government has to respond to all inquiries and reviews in full.

"It's time that Parliament looked seriously into what happens when bank branches close – as they have done in hundreds of towns and villages across the UK.

"But it's not words that I want – it's action at the highest level.

"There are plenty of countries in the Western world that would never put up with the sort of shabby behaviour we are now getting from our so-called national banks. The USA, for example, has a comprehensive network of town and state banks.

"These are part of the regular fabric of American small town life - and vital for US businesses and individuals. We urgently need to be looking at similar models of banking in this country too."

In her letter to Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee Chair Iain Wright MP, Susan Elan Jones wrote: "Having access to a bank or to financial services is vital. For a small business or local charitable group, it is the difference between failing or succeeding and it is so important that the government does all it can to support businesses in an already difficult climate.

"The heavy mechanisation of banking services has already meant that those running business do not have the support that they may have had in the past; with every local banking facility that closes, that support diminishes further."

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