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Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Shabby and cynical treatment of loyal customers" by HSBC, says resident

Well-known Llangollen resident Gill Thomas has made the following statement about the proposed closure of the Llangollen branch of HSBC:  
 
"This has come as a huge shock to me and my family who have been involved with Midland / HSBC Bank for several generations.
 
"Indeed my husband and I worked at many branches in England and Wales. We have our business and personal accounts in Llangollen and we are responsible for several charity accounts held there.
 
"It is a sad irony that this month the Llangollen branch is celebrating 150 years in the town, and I feel desperately sorry for customers and staff.   
 
"The press release made by HSBC states that, ‘we need to ensure that our branches are in the right locations for our customers’. Well, as far as I am concerned it is in the right location.
 
"We visit the Llangollen branch several times a week to pay in and withdraw cash. Customers have been offered Chirk, Ruabon or Wrexham branches and the post office in Stans supermarket.
 
"We rarely go to Wrexham and travelling to Ruabon or Chirk is not an easy option for us. Using Chirk, Ruabon or Wrexham branches will also affect local shops and businesses as people will do their shopping etc in those towns instead of Llangollen.
 
"The Llangollen post office is in a small supermarket with limited parking, on the A5, an extremely busy and dangerous road.  The statement also refers to a dramatic downturn in customer footfall and a shift in customer shopping patterns.
 
"This is very puzzling as Llangollen has a thriving tourist industry attracting thousands of visitors throughout the year. A prime example is the International Eisteddfod in July which attracts 30,000 people to the area
 
"I can remember when the Midland and other local banks had branches on the Eisteddfod field, offering important services for national and international visitors and competitors. As a worldwide bank I would have thought being available to their overseas customers would offer HSBC a valuable advertising opportunity.  
 
"There are over three hundred small businesses and organisations in Llangollen, all requiring a variety of banking facilities. This leads me to suspect that this decision has nothing to do with footfall; rather there is not enough big business and industry in the town from which the bank can make large profits.
 
"Small business, personal and community accounts obviously do not generate enough profit for the shareholders. Even so, I don’t understand why the branch has to close completely. Surely, some provision could be arranged for the service to be offered on a part-time basis.  I
 
"I suspect we are all being forced into internet or telephone banking, which can be risky and a daunting prospect for some people.
 
"It should be mentioned here, that Beaumaris and Conwy are to suffer the same fate. This is shabby and cynical treatment of loyal customers and the bank should be ashamed of its actions."

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