HSBC have announced plans to close its branches in two Wrexham villages.
Yesterday the bank confirmed that its branches in Chirk and Ruabon are to close on Friday 8th April 2016 – with plans to write to customers on Monday advising them of the closures.
Customers will be transferred to the HSBC branch in Wrexham Town Centre which is an 11 mile drive from Chirk and five miles away from Ruabon.
HSBC have said that the decision to close the two banks comes is made with ‘great reluctance’, stating that following ‘careful analysis of both branch’s commercial viability it was clear that they are no longer generating the custom necessary to justify their continued operation’.
It comes as what the bank has described as a ‘dramatic change to people’s banking habits’. The closure of the two HSBC branches will not result in any redundancies with HSBC confirming that staff will be located elsewhere.
However decision to close the two branches has been slammed by politicians, with Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones branding the news ‘shameful’.
Susan Elan Jones said: “These branches are relied upon by people of all ages to do their personal banking. They are also essential for local businesses of all sizes to do their day-to-day banking.
“Both branches are situated in areas of growing business development and serve customers from villages around them. HSBC’s decision comes after decisions to close branches across many other villages and small towns across the country, including Llangollen, Corwen, Cefn and Rhosllannerchrugog.
“I plan to take HSBC and the UK Government to task over today’s shameful decision. The Government is partly to blame for these proposed closures as a couple of years ago BIS (Department of Business, Innovations and Skills) abandoned its agreement with the banking that the last bank in every community should be kept open.
“While I will of course meet with HSBC and present any petitions or other representations from Town and Community Councils in Parliament, I think we have to recognise that what is needed here is co-ordinated national action; and if the Government doesn’t act now, our small town and village high streets will suffer even more than they have so far.”
Simon Baynes, the Conservative Assembly Candidate for Clwyd South, has also expressed his severe disappointment at HSBC’s announcement of their intention to close the two branches.
Simon Baynes said: “The closure of the HSBC banks in Chirk and Ruabon is a big blow to both towns. I am really disappointed by these decisions particularly as these branches are the last banks in the communities.
“Bank branches like these are very important to everyone locally, particularly elderly customers, the disadvantaged and local businesses, especially small and medium sized businesses.
“It is vital that HSBC make it a top priority to discuss new arrangements with their customers, particularly the elderly, and to lessen the impact of this decision as far as possible if the bank decides to go ahead with these proposals.
“Many people locally have been loyal customers for many years and I hope that HSBC will think again before closing these branches.”
*Picture – Google Maps