A COUNTY councillor has stated Denbigh will have no high street banks when the town's HSBC branch closes next summer.

Last week, HSBC announced its intention to close 114 branches next year, including the one located on Vale Street, in Denbigh.

Cllr Rhys Thomas, who represents Denbigh Lower on Denbighshire County Council, said: "Denbigh has already lost NatWest and Barclays Bank and this closure would leave the town with not a single high street bank.

"Although many people now bank on-line there are still a large number of people who prefer to use their local branch.

"This includes many local businesses."

READ MORE: HSBC says Denbigh branch will be closed next summer

Making the announcement, HSBC said, over the past five years, use of the bank’s branch network by regular customers has fallen by 65 per cent.

HSBC says footfall in the vast majority - 74 per cent - of closing branches has reduced by at least 50 per cent.

The bank stated the decline in branch use has accelerated so much since the Covid-19 pandemic that some of the branches closing are now serving fewer than 250 customers a week.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s managing director of UK distribution, said: “People are changing the way they bank and footfall in many branches is at an all-time low, with no signs of it returning.

"Banking remotely is becoming the norm for the vast majority of us. Not only can we do it anywhere at any time of day or night, many more things can be done at the customers’ convenience and don’t rely on a branch visit.

“Branches will continue to play an important role in day-to-day banking, while providing specialist face-to-face support in moments that matter.

"In addition to our branch network, customers can access services through the Post Office network, our Community Pop-ups and soon-to-come Banking Hubs, alongside Live Chat, social media and through telephone banking.

“The decision to close a branch is never easy or taken lightly, especially if we are the last branch in an area, so we’ve invested heavily in our ‘post closure’ strategy, including providing free tablet devices to selected branch customers who do not already have a device to bank digitally, alongside one-to-one coaching to help them migrate to digital banking.”

Denbigh Lower councillor Mark Young said: "I fully agree with the financial regulator who has warned banks to make new-style banking hubs 'priority' in coming months as these hubs are identified as the best way to keep banking services on our high streets.

"What's shocking is, despite banks agreeing to fund them, their roll-out has been excruciatingly and shamefully slow across the UK. 

"The taxpayers of this country bailed out these banks in their time of need and they now have to repay the communities that saved them by urgently carrying out their promises for opening banking hubs now.

"Not doing so would be unforgivable and make the banks' bosses Scrooges of the banking world!"

Meanwhile, Vale of Clwyd MS Gareth Davies has launched a petition to save the HSBC branch in Denbigh.

Mr Davies said: "We have seen so many high streets across Wales become ghost towns due to changing consumer culture and I am worried about the future of Denbigh High Street.

"Rural towns often face the worst impact of shop closures, and banking branches closing can leave older residents without easy contact with their bank.

"I am calling on HSBC to reverse their decision and support local residents to have easy access to their bank."