Disappointment regarding bank closure and calls for help to improve digital skills for local residents
Two Blaenau Ffestiniog County Councillors, Cllr Mandy Williams-Davies and Cllr Annwen Daniels have met with HSBC bank managers following the announcement that HSBC bank is to close its doors leaving the Gwynedd town with no banking establishment..
During the meeting they expressed concern about the impact of the bank closure on local businesses, the economy and local residents, especially those who lack the necessary skills to do online banking. They also stressed that it is essential to have a cash machine in the town.
Despite the fact that many locals have protested against the closure of the bank HSBC is not willing to reconsider their decision. Cllr. Annwen Daniels, who represents Bowydd and Rhiw ward residents said:
"Much to our disappointment it was confirmed at the meeting that HSBC is not willing to change their decision to close the bank which is a huge blow to local residents and businesses that have been banking with them for years.
"Two promises were made by the company to us – that they would try to get a private company to install a ATM machine in the town and that they are willing to create a plan to educate and assist residents to improve their digital skills and show us how do online banking. One of the ideas was to organize an open day for the whole community and collaborate on projects with primary and secondary schools. "
Cllr Mandy Williams-Davies who represents Diffwys a Maenofferen ward residents added:
“Without a doubt, the day the last bank in the town closes its door for the final time will be a very sad day for Blaenau Ffestiniog and will certainly affect local businesses and the tourism industry. It is important that HSBC considers alternative ways of servicing business customers in towns where there is no banks, especially in rural areas. I would also like to see them providing online service through the medium of Welsh.
"I welcome the fact that HSBC has agreed to create a plan for educating and supporting digital skills for residents of the area, especially for children and young people. It would also be nice to know what the long term plans are for the HSBC building and if there is an opportunity to work together for the good of the community."