Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon Hywel Williams has accused NatWest of abandoning their loyal customers as the bank confirmed plans to close their Caernarfon branch next year.
The local MP was responding to news that the high-street bank plans to cease its operations in Caernarfon by June 2017 as the bank confirmed a raft of closures across north Wales.
Mr Williams questioned the rationale behind the decision and appealed to bank bosses to consider the impact the closure would have on the town, which has a burgeoning tourism industry and many new business start-ups.
Hywel Williams MP said,
“Banking is one of the most basic and important services that people rely on and I know how worried people in Caernarfon are that NatWest will close its branch in the town next year.”
“It’s not good enough for the bank to advise that all customers should move onto on-line banking because we all know that not everybody has access to a reliable internet connection, particularly so in rural areas like parts of Arfon.”
“Banks have a social responsibility to serve our communities but sadly this picture is the same across north Wales, and the collapse in local banking will again hurt the most vulnerable.”
"At a time when Caernarfon is expanding, this decision makes little sense whatsoever.”
“I have called for an urgent meeting with NatWest to discuss this shortsighted decision.”
Arfon Assembly Member Siân Gwenllian added,
“Closing the NatWest bank in Caernarfon will be a huge blow for customers and for the town centre.”
“If they are closing branches in towns the size and of Caernarfon, it begs the question what will happen to branches in smaller communities.”
“Banks as well as local pharmacies, post offices and other services are important to the vibrancy of town centres across Wales.”
“They provide an important service for constituents and small businesses. This is a step in the wrong direction for Caernarfon, which is growing as a popular town centre destination.”