Clwyd South MP has slammed the decision, just announced, by the HSBC bank to close its branches in Ruabon and Chirk.
In a statement she says: "I have just received a letter from HSBC (attached & see email below) that basically informs us that decades of loyalty from residents and business customers in our area count for absolutely nothing as HSBC will be closing its branches in Ruabon and Chirk.
* Susan Elan Jones MP.
"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.
"At around 7pm in the House of Commons, I will be asking the Speaker if I can make an urgent point of order on the floor of the House of Commons to ask a Government Minister to make a statement in Parliament on UK Government policy and its effects on villages and towns UK-wide.
"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."
Susan Elan Jones MP
House of Commons
Dear Ms Elan Jones
I am writing to let you know that we have taken the difficult decision to close the HSBC branches in Chirk and Ruabon, which are located within your constituency, on Friday 8 April 2016.
We have made this decision with great reluctance, but after a 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. As I am sure you will appreciate, customer banking habits have changed dramatically in recent years, with many customers now using branches where they work or using the 24 hour convenience of telephone, mobile and internet banking. In response to these changing patterns we need to ensure that our branches are in the right locations and we invest in the development of our internet and mobile facilities. Unfortunately that means that we sometimes have to close branches to ensure our network remains fit for purpose.
We will be writing to each of our customers of Chirk and Ruabon branches on, Monday 11 January 2016 advising them of the closures. Our main priority will be to ensure that we are aware of any difficulties faced by our customers and that our customers’ banking needs will be catered for in the best possible way. With this in mind, our branch staff will be available to talk through the many alternative ways of banking which are open to our customers, and will take steps to proactively contact customers who may have problems accessing alternative banking facilities. In these cases we will offer them one-to-one appointments to provide customers with advice and practical solutions, including training on phone and internet banking where appropriate.
I also want to stress that the closure will not result in any of our people becoming redundant – all of the Chirk and Ruabon branch staff will be redeployed to other branches.
Following the closure, we will automatically transfer the administration of our customers’ accounts to our Wrexham branch which is within 11 miles of Chirk and 5 miles of Ruabon. This branch has longer opening hours, better facilities and more staff to assist with our customers’ banking needs. In addition, there are other HSBC branches at Ruthin and Mold in addition all HSBC and first direct personal current account customers can now access their bank account at Post Office branches. As a result, customers will now also be able to use the Post Office located at 16 Church Street, Chirk, Wrexham LL14 5HA and 1a New High Street, Ruabon, Wrexham Clwyd LL14 6NL both of which are within walking distance of the respective branches, for cash withdrawals, cash deposits, cheque deposits and balance enquiries.
I hope that this helps to explain the reasoning behind this very difficult decision, and to set out how HSBC will provide assistance to our customers affected by the closures. If any individual cases of difficulty are raised with you, I would be grateful if you could bring them to my attention so that we can do our utmost to arrange for appropriate assistance.
If you would like to meet to discuss any of the points raised above, I would be more than happy to do so. My office can be contacted on 07827 357049 and we can arrange a meeting in due course.
* Simon Baynes, the Welsh Conservative Assembly Candidate for Clwyd South, has expressed his severe disappointment at HSBC’s announcement of their intention to close their branches in Chirk and Ruabon.
He 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."