Working alongside a cross-party delegation of MPs representing rural constituencies, Ceredigion MP Ben Lake has met with the economic secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, to discuss rural bank branch closures and make the case for innovative solutions such as community banking hubs.

These discussions form part of Mr Lake’s efforts to introduce a Bill in Parliament that will ensure that customers aren’t left without basic financial services when faced with local bank closures. 

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Lake said: “More than 2,800 community bank branches across the UK have closed in the last four years alone. This is a hugely pressing issue, and with countless towns and villages now without a single branch, it is our rural communities that have been hit the hardest.

“Unfortunately, many of the measures intended to offset the effects of bank branches closing – such as transferring responsibility for banking services to the Post Office, online banking, and mobile branches – have their own challenges, and are not always appropriate solutions. Customers and communities are losing out as a result.

“The concept of hubs, whereby different banks agree to co-locate services in rural areas, is one that commands widespread support, and the announcement of a six-month pilot of six business banking hubs in England is promising.

"What now needs to happen is a trial in rural areas of sub hubs for both personal and business banking services, and I shall be pressing for this to happen."

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