FACE-to-face banking is returning to Corwen next month thanks to a partnership between a leading North Wales social enterprise group and a credit union.

South Denbighshire Community Partnership’s Canolfan Ni headquarters in Corwen will play host to the Cambrian Credit Union’s new three-days a week service in the town.

There will be a special event to mark the opening of the service at Canolfan Ni on Friday, June 30, to which Clwyd South’s three constituency representatives, Senedd Members Ken Skates and Llyr Gruffydd and Simon Baynes MP, have been invited.

The new full banking counter service starts on Tuesday, July 4, with the facilities to deposit and withdraw money and apply for loans and other services.


Hot weather sparks fridge rush as Barnardo’s opens Denbigh store

Corwen’s last full banking service ended when the NatWest branch in the town closed its doors in 2015.

Since then, there has been a limited service available at the town’s post office and a one-day a week mobile service provided by NatWest in the main car park.

SDCP chief executive Margaret Sutherland said: “This is a major win for Corwen which has had to put up with the lack of an in-person full banking service for over eight years.

“Even the NatWest mobile service has been intermittent, sometimes not turning up and often leaving people queuing in the rain for their turn.

“Tackling rural poverty in all its forms is a key part of what we do and the ever-declining banking facilities in rural communities further exacerbate this.

“Since 2018, £2.3 million of debt has been managed by Citizens Advice Denbighshire on behalf of residents.

“Online services do not meet everyone’s needs, especially not older people, digital exclusion is a widely recognised issue; training and support isn’t going to overcome this.

“Many have a real fear they will be scammed and having an internet connection at home is an additional expense that falls on the customer.

“The current fuel price crisis has highlighted that in an area blighted by rural poverty and where many homes are off-grid and reliant on heating oil, which must be paid for up front; a minimum order of £500 means for many staying warm is unaffordable.

“Many people rely on their car to get to work because of inadequate public transport and high maintenance bills can force them into the arms of the pay day loan sharks.

“The opportunity for them to save regularly for those rainy days can help including for those whose work is seasonal.”

Representatives from the Cambrian Credit Union will also be present at the launch event to answer people’s questions about the new service which will operate three days a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 10 am to 2pm.

The services it will provide will include access to personal loans of up to £15,000, safe, and secure savings accounts, payroll deduction schemes to repay loans, a website and a mobile app and a protected savings service.

Ann Francis, chief executive officer of Cambrian Savings and Loans, said: “We are delighted to be opening our newest cash HWB in Corwen, bringing services closer to our existing members in the county and welcoming more people to Cambrian.

“It’s vital that people in Denbighshire have access to affordable credit and ethical savings, and we have to thank Margaret Sutherland and the team from South Denbighshire Community Partnership’s Canolfan Ni for their support in helping us with that goal.

“With so many high street bank closures effecting the local area, and the increased digital only services provided by them,  we believe the access to face-to-face cash services Cambrian will offer is imperative in supporting the community.”