Assembly Member urges bank not to close Cymmer branch

2009 Medi 16 4:11 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black, has urged HSBC bank not to go ahead with their proposal to close their branch in Cymmer, Port Talbot. The company has recently announced that they will be closing their Kenfig Hill branch on December 11th and that all accounts will be transferred to their branch in Maesteg. This is the second such announcement in a matter of weeks. Mr. Black has written to the bank asking them to reconsider this latest proposed closure. Peter Black said: "Being able to access a bank is important for everyone within a community. Losing a local service will be difficult for local businesses, the elderly and those who find it difficult to access banks due to restrictive opening hours that often coincide with their own working hours." "For many years it has become increasingly difficult to access and pay for services without a bank account and now virtually everyone in society has them. However, these accounts rely on people being able to access a branch frequently. Internet and phone banking can be useful, but are not suitable for everyone, nor are they able to fulfil all the functions of a branch. It is also simply not possible to pay cheques or cash in through these methods." "There now appears to be a pattern developing of HSBC closing branches on a piecemeal basis in small communities around South Wales. This leads me to question whether there is a bigger agenda. "I understand that no business can carry on while losing money, but there had to be other options, such as reducing the size, level or service or opening hours. This may not have been ideal but would have at least allowed the community to maintain some service."

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