I have just received a letter from HSBC (6 Jan 2016, 16:33) that basically informs us that decades of loyalty from residents and business customers in our area count for absolutely nothing as HSBC will be closing its branches in Ruabon and Chirk.

These branches are relied upon by people of all ages to do their personal banking. They are also essential for local businesses of all sizes to do their day-to-day banking. Both branches are situated in areas of growing business development and serve customers from villages around them. HSBC’s decision comes after decisions by their bank and other banks like NatWest to close branches across many other villages and small towns across the country, including Llangollen, Corwen, Cefn and Rhosllannerchrugog.

I plan to take HSBC and the UK Government to task over today’s shameful decision. David Cameron and his Government are partly to blame for these proposed closures as a couple of years ago BIS (Department of Business, Innovations and Skills) abandoned its agreement with the banking sector that the last bank in every community should be kept open.

Today at the close of business in the House of Commons, I took the unusual step of asking the Speaker if I could make an emergency point of order on the floor of the House of Commons. I explained what had happened and asked whether a Government Minister intended to make a statement in Parliament on UK Government policy and its effects on villages and small towns across the country.

While I will of course meet with HSBC and present any petitions or other representations from Town and Community Councils in Parliament, I think we have to recognise that what is needed here is co-ordinated national action; and if the UK Government doesn’t act now, our small town and village high streets will suffer even more than they have so far.

Susan Elan Jones MP

(6th January 2016)