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Saturday, November 23, 2013

KLS issues latest statement on bank closure issue

Keep Llangollen Special has issued its latest statement on the proposed closure of the HSBC bank in Llangollen, which we bring you here:
“In a BBC News article on Friday, RBS (NatWest) are quoted as saying, “Since 2010, branch transactions are down almost 30%”.  We know what that means.
“Also, from Barclays just recently when 1,700 job cuts were announced, one quote stood out:  “Mr Blakey [editor of Retail Banker International] thinks banks need to "right size" their branches, because they are not needed as much with the advent of mobile and internet banking.
“We’ve been urged to leave HSBC, but how can you jump ships when there are no ships left to jump to?
Now is probably a highly counter-productive time to take precipitous action like switching accounts from HSBC as it might harden HSBC’s attitude further.
“We have written to Alan Keir of HSBC to help smooth-over ruffled feathers, at least while negotiations continue. It has been acknowledged.
“Despite the flat refusal by HSBC to meet with the Chamber of Trade, Mark Isherwood has persuaded them to have a meeting in Cardiff,  accompanied by Ken Skates AM.
“It is not an event to which others are invited, regrettably, so we need to furnish them with as much ammunition as we possibly can.  
“We have been asked by Mark Isherwood’s office to provide details of any individual cases we would like him to take to the meeting.
“We now know what to do; it’s all hands on deck to canvas for cases from businesses and residents about how the branch closure would cause hardship to them.
“I’m quite certain the Chamber of Trade and KLS can compile all your comments and present them in a coherent and concise form.
* As a for instance, some of us may feel that their accounts would not be transferrable to a new bank due to problems with debt and still need a local manager to help them because of their relationship with someone who understands their circumstance rather than a stranger who might be less sympathetic.
* It might be because of anxiety and the need for personal  understanding and sympathetic contact.
* It might due to physical impairment or that the cost of transport is unaffordable to them.
Perhaps you have no telephone, which implies you have no Internet access either.
Impaired vision, partial hearing and physical immobility  are obviously problems, and if you have carers provided by social services you may not be willing to entrust your bank account details with.
* If you’re a trader in town and have concerns such as openly carrying sums of cash to bank, even road safety  worries crossing the A5 to the Post Office or delays introduced by third parties slowing its transfer to your account, let us know.
“Please be a good neighbour – if you know anyone who would be unable to read this, please let them know.
“We need your name and address. It will be kept confidential. Hand-written letters, which we encourage, may be given to Watkin & Williams who have kindly offered to be a collection point. (Mark the envelope HSBC, please.)
"Whatever the reason, please contact , or the Llangollen Chamber of Trade and Tourism  at
“What we need to tell our leaders is that this is no longer a local issue. It’s turned UK-wide. Our local and national economies are going to plummet if we can’t find a solution.
“Next week, documents will be sent to all AMs. Watch this space.”
Martin Crumpton, 
Keep Llangollen Special.

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