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Mole Valley District Council reacts to number of bank closures

Barclays Bank closure ()

Barclays Bank closure

The Liberal Democrat led District Council Administration has issued a strong statement about bank closures in the district and is hoping to be consulted if any of the four remaining banks are proposed for closure. It is already too late to prevent two further Dorking branches closing this autumn. The possible updated guidance from FCA to banks may even come too late to keep some of remaining four branches, Nationwide in both towns, HSBC in Leatherhead and NatWest in Dorking.

Mole Valley District Council's (MVDC) response to proposed bank closures:

Numerous closures of bank branches have been proposed across Mole Valley without adequate alternative provision and Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) is concerned of the impact it will have on vulnerable and older residents.
In light of these concerns MVDC wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking that the Government give the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) more powers to prevent bank companies carrying out large scale closures of local branches. The Council also asked the Government to mandate the introduction of Banking Hubs or Post Office banking services in those communities left without adequate access to banking provision.

Councillor Keira Vyvyan-Robinson, MVDC Cabinet Member for Projects said:

'We remain very concerned, that the proposed closures of bank branches will disadvantage many of our residents and businesses. While moving to digital services is a natural way forward for many people, a lot of our residents still rely on banking in person and on being able to easily access free cash dispensing facilities and foreign currency. Many of them will not be able to travel a long distance, to the nearest available branch if the local banks are closed.This also results in additional costs and inconvenience at a time when many are struggling financially.
Keira Vyvyan-Robinson

Keira Vyvyan-Robinson

'We welcome the proposed introduction of Banking Hubs to fill the gap left by bank closures but at this moment in time, these have no legislative support. MVDC is very keen to support FCA in doing everything they can to ensure that banks have a good understanding of the impact proposed closures will have on local communities.

We're very supportive of any measures which would ensure that banks also consider alternative services to support the most vulnerable residents. We are pleased to read of the FCA's intention to include an expectation that local councils would be consulted as part of any assessment carried out prior to closure - this will allow us to comment specifically about each individual situation in order to inform decision making.'