Blaenau Ffestiniog Councillor calls for new exit ‘last bank’ Law

01/11/2016

Blaenau Ffestiniog County Councillor Mandy Williams-Davies is calling for changes to the Law so no other Welsh town is left out on a financial limb as Blaenau Ffestiniog suffers the after-effects of having no banking establishment in the town. 

“As a community, we have been left feeling vulnerable,” explains Cllr Mandy Williams-Davies who represents Diffwys and Maenofferen residents on Gwynedd Council.

“We live in a vibrant, busy town where local people, businesses and visitors to the area need to access funds and carry out financial transactions. It is proving more and more difficult. I feel we have been let down.”

HSBC, the last bank to leave the town in September, has carried out their own research which has found that the percentage of footfall in the town would see the bank accommodate a new hole in the wall cashpoint facility. But work needs to be done to negotiate a suitable location within a private company’s premises.

“In the meantime, the people of Blaenau are left out on a limb waiting for processes and plans to be put in place. I am also keen that solutions can be found for banking coinage, another issue causing concern in the town.

“We currently have three cashpoint services in the town, all located within different private retail company buildings. In the past few days, the only cashpoint service available to customers early on Sunday evening, located outside a building, was broken. It is very frustrating and unfair on the community of Blaenau.

“My discussions with the bank clearly highlight a need for an in-depth exit plan for a financial organisation leaving a town void of any banking establishment.  I strongly believe that a change in Law is the only way to ensure other Welsh towns are not left feeling the brunt of what we at, Blaenau, are currently feeling.”

Cllr Williams-Davies and fellow Plaid Cymru colleagues, Cllr Annwen Daniels and Lis Saville-Roberts MP are continuing to push for solutions.