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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

County's disappointment over bank meeting snub

Denbighshire County Council has expressed its frustration and  disappointment at a decision by Nat West bank not to send a representative along to meeting to discuss the closure of the majority of the bank’s branches across the county.

The council’s  Communities Scrutiny Committee had invited Nat West Bank officials to discuss the decision to close all branches in the county except Rhyl, and how it proposed to deliver accessible quality services to residents in future, particularly the elderly, vulnerable, those who are not digitally active or have poor broadband access. 

The invite follows concerns raised that the closures will have a detrimental impact on communities and people’s ability to access financial services.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, said: “The response to the invitation was disappointing to say the least and we are frustrated with the bank’s response.

“Closing virtually all of their branches in Denbighshire will affect many communities, with customers having to travel quite far in some cases to access their bank face to face.  

"We also fear that the decision will have a negative impact on how the council can deliver on its priorities around developing the local economy and  protecting vulnerable people and supporting them to live independently."

Councillor Huw Hilditch Roberts, Chair of Communities Scrutiny Committee, said: “The Committee acknowledges that bank representatives have already engaged with a number of local stakeholders. However, Committee members are extremely disappointed that Nat West have turned down the invitation to attend scrutiny – which would have been a meeting open to the public to attend – to explain their decisions and future proposals in a public forum. 

“The door remains open for Nat West to discuss its approach to the bank closures."

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