TWO Ceredigion high streets are set to lose more banking services as Lloyds and Halifax announce fresh branch closures.

Halifax has announced it is close its Aberystwyth branch at 5 Great Darkgate Street on 29 July, with Lloyds Bank announcing the closure of its Cardigan branch at 14 High Street on 27 June.

The fresh closure announcements come weeks after Barclays announced it was closing its Cardigan and Aberystwyth branches in April and May.

Explaining the reason behind the closure, Halifax said: "Most customers are now using

our mobile app, internet banking or calling us instead, which means they are using branches, including the Aberystwyth branch much less. "This means we'll be closing Aberystwyth branch."

The cash machine will also be removed with customers advised to use the ATM at HSBC, with the nearest branch being listed as Carmarthen.

Lloyds Bank gave the same reason for its decision to close the Cardigan branch, which will also have its ATM removed.

Reacting to the latest closure announcements, Elin Jones MS said: “It’s so disappointing to hear the news that both Cardigan and Aberystwyth will be losing another of their main high street banks.

"Even though we can appreciate that for many of us banking now is done on our phones or online, there is still a portion of our society who rely completely on face-to-face banking on the high street. It’s awful to think that we’re in such a situation, and hopefully something will come from the discussions that are happening on creating community banking hubs.”

Ben Lake MP added: "It is bitterly disappointing to learn of Lloyds and Halifax’s intention to close their branches in Ceredigion, a few months following the announcement by Barclays that they were doing the same. These decisions are further blows to the towns of Aberystwyth and Cardigan, and mean that customers across the county will have to travel further to access many in-person banking services.

"Despite the fact that we read just last month of the UK banking sector reporting record annual profits for 2023, it is clear that they remain intent on reducing their branch network. I had already arranged to meet with representatives of the Financial Conduct Authority and LINK following the decision by Barclays to close its Ceredigion branches, and so I shall now also have to raise these further closures.

“It is clear that the regulatory framework determining the establishment of banking hubs needs to change at pace to ensure that Ceredigion is not left without access to banking services.

“I have already joined forces with other MPs to meet with the regulator to press for an expansion of the eligibility criteria so that banking hubs can be established in a broader range of towns.

“Today’s announcement has added yet further urgency to this work.”

The Aberystwyth branch at 26 Terrace Road will close on 3 May 2024 with the Cardigan branch at 32 High Street closing on 26 April 2024, with Barclays suggesting people use the ATM at the WH Smiths in Aberystwyth.