Wales politics

Banking crisis in Wales, says Plaid Cymru AM Adam Price

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Media captionSimon Thomas says rural businesses need to use local bank branches

There is a community banking "crisis" in Wales with so many bank branches closing, Plaid Cymru has said.

The party's AM Adam Price told the Senedd more than 180 bank branches had closed in Wales since 2011.

"We are now in a position that in many parts of Wales there are no financial services available at all," he said.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said the Welsh Government was urging commercial banks to maintain a strong branch network across the country.

He added that the situation could be helped by "making sure that the Post Office is well-placed to take on a wider range of banking activities and making sure that credit union membership is available across Wales".

Image caption The NatWest branch in Llandaff North, Cardiff is closing in May 2018

Another Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas raised the bank closures in Llandysul, Ceredigion: "Sixteen years ago there were four high street banks in Llandysul, now there are none. It's a market town with no banking whatsoever."

Mr Thomas called on ministers to lobby for "statutory obligations for access to banking for our businesses and customers, and citizens in rural areas".

Labour AM Mick Antoniw accused some banks of having "contempt for the concept of customer service".

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