NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 18th, 2014.
Santander has announced it is to pull out of an agency branch in Wrexham.
The Gresford Santander based branch has been one of the five that faces closure, along with Abergele, Pwllheli, Llanrwst and Ruthin.
The closure of the Gresford branch would mean people would have to travel into Wrexham or Chester City Centre to do their banking.
If the closures go ahead it will mean the individual branches would be closed by summer of this year.
A company statement puts the decision to pull out of the five towns to a ‘strategic review of its retail network’.
Speaking today, Local MP Ian Lucas today said: “This is of course bad news for Gresford and I would urge Santander to reconsider. However, the reality is that Santander is, like so many other of our banks, divorced from the communities it is meant to serve. This means villages like Gresford lose local services, and it also means that large financial institutions don’t have to meet the needs of local communities when it comes to wider issues like providing funding for small businesses.
“What we need is a truly local bank – which is why I am asking the Government to consider a regional bank for North Wales.”
However Banking giant Santander is being urged to drop its threat to pull out of five North Wales towns, putting 21 jobs at risk. Already a petition has been launched online, asking the bank to reconsider their decision.
North Wales AM Antoinette Sandbach is writing to the company’s top bosses, and has raised the issue in the National Assembly.
She has accused the Spanish-owned bank – one of the largest in the world – of abandoning small rural North Wales communities and instead putting international profits before customers. The company has blamed red tape and a drop in profits for its decision.
“This is a real stab in the back for their customers and shows they have a lack of loyalty of the people of Wales,” said Ms Sandbach AM. “I was shocked when I heard about this decision and I will make every effort I can to save these services.
“In such communities, local is best, as many people like to be able to call into a branch to do their banking. And in rural areas, being able to talk to staff in Welsh about financial and other matters is vitally important. It’s another blow for our high streets as well – this will have impact on shops in these towns as people have one less reason to stop off and do their shopping.
“Santander has extracted the cash out of rural communities and now doesn’t want to provide a counter service. The argument given is regulation and profit – but regulation should part of their normal activity as a bank and profit in a bank is meant to be long term.”
Ms Sandbach will also be working with 75point3 Chartered Financial Planners over Santander’s decision to withdraw its services.