People living outside the major towns are facing the loss of financial services – it is a crisis for the elderly and those without internet access.
North Wales’ Liberal Democrat Assembly Member, Aled Roberts, met an HSBC Bank Area Director last Friday in a joint meeting with fellow AM Ken Skates. Aled voiced the concerns of many people about the disintegration of the UK’s financial services infrastructure outside the big towns and cities.
“When the HSBC banks close in Ruabon and Chirk, there will be many older people who will find it very difficult to access any banking services. And even those available through a Post Office could be threatened as the Post Office moves branches into shops and downgrades them.
“What we are seeing here is the consequence of a deregulated market where those less able and less well off in our rural and suburban areas are abandoned. But then that is to be expected from this Conservative Government.
“In the past other banks had offered not to close a branch if it was the last bank in town but that policy has been abandoned to create banking deserts for those who do not have access to the internet or do not feel confident about doing their financial affairs on-line.
“At the meeting with HSBC’s Regional Business Manager, I made it clear that there was real concern in local communities about the new arrangements for business customers and those less able to travel into Wrexham.
“I also enquired as to whether the bank had investigated the capacity of Wrexham’s HSBC. We were told that most staff currently working in Ruabon and Chirk would be moved to Wrexham but there appear to be no plans to provide extra space.”