Politicians raise concerns at Newtown bank closure plan
Two politicians say they plan to hold 'urgent discussions' with a bank after it announced plans to close a town branch.
Craig Williams and Russell George, Conservative MP and MS for Montgomeryshire, have voiced concern after Lloyds Bank revealed it intends to close its Newtown branch in April next year.
The firm said the bank would shut from April 3, saying that the decision is a response to the changing behaviour of how customers bank.
Lloyds said all members of staff at the Newtown branch will be offered the chance to move to a role at another branch or another part of the business.
It added that a community banker will be provided in Newtown following the closure, to help customers with banking queries, and customers will be able to access day-to-day banking services at the Post Office.
Mr Williams said: "Following their decision to pull out of Welshpool at the beginning of this year, Lloyds’ announcement today that it will be closing its Newtown branch in April is exceptionally disappointing news and an enormous blow to both personal and business customers.
“Whilst I accept that more and more of us are banking online, access to over-the-counter services is still vital for so many customers. It has always been my firm belief that there remains a strong need for banks to maintain a high street presence within rural communities,
“This decision also means that Lloyds will no longer have a physical branch presence within Montgomeryshire. Russell and I will therefore be seeking urgent discussions with their representatives to discuss how it will ensure that Lloyds’ loyal customers are not completely disenfranchised, and that support remains available to them."
Mr George said: "This is deeply disappointing news for Newtown and the surrounding communities. There are still so many customers who prefer not to bank online, or who are simply unable to given the nature of rural counties such as Montgomeryshire.
"Alongside Craig, I will be meeting with Lloyds imminently to ensure that both branch customers and staff are given the support they require and deserve."