Following my recent campaigns to stop both Natwest and Barclays closing their branches in Llantwit Major, I am extremely disappointed and utterly dismayed to hear that Natwest now plans to close its Dinas Powys branch. Indeed, the BBC reported only last week on the shocking number of bank branch closures across the UK – more than 600 last year- with parts of Wales amongst the hardest hit areas.
Ahead of the bank closures in Llantwit Major, I launched petitions, met with banks, held public meetings and produced reports highlighting the detrimental impacts on older and vulnerable customers and on small businesses, as well as raising issues such as costs of travel to access banking and digital exclusion. I also made known to the UK Government my concerns regarding the inefficacy of its protocol which requires an impact statement be produced prior to bank closures. My experience has been that this protocol has absolutely no impact on decisions that appear to have been made long before local elected members can make representations on behalf of the community. I am extremely concerned that the Vale of Glamorgan could potentially have lost three banks in 6 months and I would urge Dinas Powys customers to contact me about how the closure affects them, in order to help inform my representations to NatWest.” –Jane Hutt AM