Caroline Flint, Labour MP for Don Valley, has called for action to protect the UK’s rural communities from losing their crucial banking services.
Leading a cross-party delegation of MPs representing rural constituencies, Caroline has met with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, to discuss rural branch closures and make the case for innovative solutions such as community banking hubs.
Speaking after the meeting, Caroline said: “More than 2,800 community bank branches have closed their doors in the last four years alone. This is a hugely pressing issue, and with countless towns and villages now without a single branch, it is our rural communities that have been hit the hardest.
“Unfortunately, many of the measures intended to offset the effects of bank branches closing down – such as Post Office banking services, online banking, and mobile branches – are simply not adequate substitutes. Customers and communities are suffering as a result.
“The joint pilot of a Business Banking Hub in Birmingham this year is proof that there are viable alternatives available that could provide a solution.
“The Government has a vital role to play in encouraging banks to explore these alternative options and ensure that they meet their obligation to deliver support and services to all those who need them, wherever they live.”
The MP has worked with other MPs to influence the Government on bank branch closures. In 2019, RBS closed Natwest branches in Thorne and Bawtry. Bawtry now has no bank branch and only a temporary post office service. In 2015, Tickhill lost its HSBC branch, the last bank in the town.