CONCERNS about the future of high street banks are on the minds of Flintshire’s Senedd Members.

Both of our local Labour politicians voiced their opinions on the future of high street banking in the county amidst shocking figures about the rapid rates banks are fading from our high streets.

Currently, Alyn and Deeside have just four physical bank branches, whilst Delyn fares as one of the best in the region – having 10 banks in total.

Deeside’s Jack Sargeant MS says this issue is very close to his heart.

He told the Leader that our towns have been "let down" by the high street banks.

He said: "These closures are not about customer need or footfall, they are simply about maximising profit and it’s wrong.”

He went on to say this is why he has been actively working to bring Wales’ first Community Bank branch to Buckley.

The local politician continued: “The process is now with the Regulator and I look forward to a positive announcement from Banc Cambria and Welsh Government Minister’s in the near future.

“Bringing a bank back to Buckley will be a real boost to the high street bringing in customers and helping local business prosper.”

Labour’s Hannah Blythyn has also made a strong pledge to ensure banks don’t disappear from Delyn.

It comes after Barclays recently closed the doors of their branch in Flint this April.

She commented: “It is our communities that most feel the impact of the decisions to close high street banks – the staff, customers and our town centres.

“The UK Government has let banking firms make decisions based on their profits rather than the needs of places for long – they have the power to legislate to take action to ensure a town retains a bank.

“In contrast, the Welsh Labour Government is committed to supporting community banking here in Wales, through establishing a Community bank with the focus on customers and communities. I will do all I can to support community banking and ensure access to services in towns across the county and this corner of the country.”

The Leader:

Virtual services have seen a big boom since the pandemic broke out in 2020 - but the trend of closing banks isn't new. [Image: Getty]

Across North Wales, the region has lost more than half of its physical bank branches since 2015, new figures reveal.
Banks and building societies have been disappearing from our high streets over several years.
Consumer champion Which? report that banks say this has been driven by a rapid increase in online and mobile banking - and a steady decline in the use of physical branches.
Looking across North Wales, as of January 2021, there were 63 chains serving our communities. In total, this dropped by more than half (52 per cent) since January 2015.

Across in Wrexham, we have also reported that these figures look rather bleak.

Ken Skates MS has shared his views about the situation in Clwyd South with just one physical branch hanging on – and the fight to keep the branch up and running.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We have been vocal in our calls for commercial banks to maintain a strong presence in local communities, although banking regulation ultimately rests with the UK Government.

“It has the power to regulate the industry and ensure these vital services are available to all local residents and businesses.

“We are working hard to ensure people have access to banking services, including supporting the credit union movement and we are committed to creating a community bank with branches across Wales.”