Mid Wales

Rural bank closures causing a 'massive inconvenience'

HSBC Machynlleth
Image caption The HSBC branch in Machynlleth is one of eight banks in Wales scheduled for closure this year

Concerns have been raised over access to banks in rural areas after HSBC announced the closure of a branch in Powys.

The bank said its Machynlleth branch would shut in the summer after a dramatic fall in customers.

Of the 28 banks that shut in Wales last year, 10 were "last bank in town" closures.

Residents and businesses have told BBC Wales the loss of local branches is a "massive inconvenience".

Minimise the damage

Montgomery, in Powys, and Tregaron, in Ceredigion, are among the towns which have lost local banks.

Eight branches in Wales have so far been scheduled to permanently lock their doors in 2015.

The major banks say the scaling back is driven by the massive rise in internet banking. Online UK accounts are now accessed seven million times a day.

Last week, Britain's banks reached a deal with the UK government on a protocol for shutting branches to minimise the damage caused to rural areas.

This includes working with the Post Office to allow customers to access more services.

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