Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon Hywel Williams has expressed his dismay at HSBC’s decision to close the only remaining bank in Llanberis, leaving customers with a fourteen mile round trip to access the nearest branch in Caernarfon.
In a letter to Mr Williams, HSBC said the decision to close the Llanberis branch had been taken in response to changing patterns, as the bank concentrate on internet and mobile banking. The branch will close on Friday August 21, 2015. Some services will be relocated to Llanberis Post Office.
Hywel Williams MP said: “I am very disappointed to hear of the intended closure of the HSBC branch in Llanberis and its loss to residents in the village and surrounding areas.
“The impending closure of the bank will be a devastating blow to local people, especially those who cannot drive, the elderly and disabled people.
“I’m also concerned about the impact this closure will have on business and trade customers, who will no longer have the convenience of an easily accessed local bank.
“Despite assurances by the Bank that staff will not lose their jobs and will be redeployed to other branches, I’m not convinced they’ve fully considered the impact this closure will have on the local community.
“We are continually told that more and more people are choosing online banking. But bank bosses should also bear in mind that not everybody has internet access and many people, particularly the elderly, like to bank with people they’ve come to know and trust.
“Closing the HSBC bank in Llanberis will strip the village of its only remaining bank. This is yet another example of rural communities across Wales being denied access to local services.”
Gwynedd Small Business Champion, Cllr Siân Gwenllian added: “I know how important having a bank close-by is for the dozens of small businesses in Llanberis.
“I am afraid that HSBC has not considered the impact of closure on the local economy and the vibrancy of the high street. This is very disappointing news.”