RESIDENTS have been urged to back the sole surviving bank in a rural area to help secure its long-term future.
Clwyd South Assembly Member Ken Skates has urged people to make use of Barclays bank in Llangollen – the only remaining bank in his constituency – after receiving an assurance it is safe from closure for the immediate future.
The AM has spoken at length with Jonathan Brenchley, Barclays’ head of corporate relations in Wales, in the wake of HSBC closing its branches in Ruabon and Chirk.
Mr Skates said he was relieved to be assured the Llangollen branch is safe for now, but encouraged his constituents to use it as often as they can.
He also called for customers of banks which have left the area to switch to Barclays.
Mr Skates said: “I’m pleased to have been given assurances that, for the immediate future, the Llangollen Barclays branch is safe.
“Only once in the past six years has Barclays closed the last remaining bank in any town in Wales. This demonstrates a greater degree of social responsibility than other banks have shown, and I would urge customers to use the Llangollen branch as much as possible to guarantee its longer-term survival.”
The AM added: “More people are going online to do their banking, which is reducing demand for over-the-counter services.
“We need more people to switch their custom to Barclays and use the branch regularly in order to secure its future.
“I’d urge anyone who objected to the closure of other bank branches to switch to Barclays if they wish to see Llangollen remain open in the long term.”
Mr Skates recently secured a commitment from HSBC that it would keep a cashpoint in Ruabon, and has also fought for mobile banking services for communities where branches have closed, including Rhos and Brymbo.
Former mayor of Llangollen, Cllr Bob Lube, said the branch was of great importance to small businesses based in the town.
“I’m pleased Ken has had this discussion with Barclays, and I know he will do everything he can to keep banking facilities in Llangollen,” said Cllr Lube.
“I’m glad we’ve got someone as proactive as him fighting our corner once again.”
Mr Skates also confirmed he continues to liase with Sainsbury’s about the development at the former Dobson and Crowther site on the A5.
He said: “I’m maintaining a constant dialogue with the company who remain in discussions with a number of interested parties. I will keep pressing them to bring the site back into use at the earliest opportunity.”
Mr Skates helped identify and secure a new employer, Mail Solutions, for the new Dobson and Crowther building nearby after the company fell into administration last year.
Since Mail Solutions took over the facility, re-employing a number of former Dobson and Crowther workers, two local companies, Universal Learning Streams and Kinderskey, have also moved in.