Joint Statement – Natwest Bank Closures

Responding to the announcement of 20 Natwest Bank closures throughout 2018, Chris Elmore MP and Huw Irranca-Davies AM said:

“Natwest’s decision to close two branches in both of the largest towns in our constituency is a massive blow for customers and local businesses and has thrown employees at the bank into a period of terrible uncertainty just before Christmas. This decision shows a neglect for communities across Wales in that it will force customers to travel many miles to access local services. It is simply unacceptable.  

These closures mean that Pencoed will no longer have a branch of any bank and adds further difficulty for residents in Maesteg, many of whom had transferred to Natwest following the closure of HSBC only 6 months ago. Many customers – particularly elderly residents – rely on being able to pop into their local branch to manage their money. The provision of local, face-to-face banking facilities has been reducing significantly over the past few years but now services are becoming far too thinly spread. Technological change is helping customers access banking services in different ways but banks must not ignore the needs of those customers who can’t.

We are arranging a meeting with Natwest as a matter of urgency to discuss our deep concerns with this move. We will do all we can to support the workers at these branches at this difficult time. The bank must have had these plans in the pipeline for some time so to have managed this situation in this way is deeply unhelpful to individuals who staff these branches and their families.”