Bank urged to reconsider closure of Pwllheli branch

By Julie McNicholls Vale   |   Deputy news editor   |
Thursday 28th July 2022 12:00 pm
@JulieCambrian
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Lloyds in Pwllheli will close in January Photo: Google Maps ()

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The closure of Lloyds Bank in Pwllheli has been described as “another nail in the coffin of face-to-face high street banking”.

Lloyds will closethe Stryd Fawr branch on 12 January following what the bank has described as “an in-depth review”.

“Like many other high street businesses, we’ve seen people using our branches less frequently in recent years as more customers choose to do most of their everyday banking online,” Lloyds said, so it had “made the difficult decision to close this branch because customers are using it less often”. “In addition the majority of customers are also using alternative ways to bank.”

Lloyds said customers can use the Post Office for banking or one of its other branches. The nearest is in Caernarfon.

“For a short period of time after the branch closes we plan to have a community banker visit this area,” they added.

“They can offer support and guidance on the ways you can bank with us. We’re still here to support you, and there’s a number of ways you can bank with us.”

Mabon ap Gwynfor MS and Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “This is just another nail in the coffin of face-to-face high street banking hitting communities right across Wales at a time when many people can ill-afford to travel great distances to access their nearest branch.

“Nothing can replace walking into a bank branch and talking to someone across the counter.

“Despite the myth being peddled that everyone banks online, people still want that personal contact, especially so the elderly. Lloyds own data shows that of those using their Pwllheli branch, 37 per cent are aged between 55-74 with personal customers accounting for 90 per cent of branch use.

“Since many banks are intent on ploughing ahead with branch closures, every effort must be made to help customers in Pwllheli and surrounding communities to use alternative banking methods, such as internet banking and accessing services at the post office.”

Pwllheli North councillor, Elin Hywel, urged Lloyds “to reconsider this closure and recognise the important role and responsibility they have to this community and its residents”.

“Local banks are more than access to money, our community life, our elderly and most vulnerable, and our young people will suffer disproportionately because of the removal of our local branches. And, once one bank closes, we know all the others will race to avoid being the last branch in town. We’ve seen how businesses and our most vulnerable across rural Wales are being put at a serious disadvantage because of closures such as this. Access to banking services and cash in a way that suits us best should be our right.”

Pwllheli South councillor Hefin Underwood said the closure “would have catastrophic effect on many people’s lives”.

“It also means staff who have worked for the bank would either relocate or be made redundant when times are hard for us all. I pray that whoever made this decision will think again, postpone it and have a rethink if we protest in the strongest way possible as town and county councillors and of course the general public.”

It is not known if any jobs will be lost as a result of the closure.

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