Porthcawl: Business owners' concern as town to be left with no high street bank

The seaside town of Porthcawl is to become another area in Wales which will have no bank on its high street in the next few months.

The town has already said goodbye to HSBC, Natwest, Barclays - with Halifax and Lloyds set to go by the end of the year.

Forty more bank branches in Wales are expected to close in the next few months.

For more than a decade, Peter Morgan owned a fairtrade community shop, right in the heart of Porthcawl.

It was situated right next to Lloyds Bank, currently the only bank left in the town.

Expressing his concern that this closure would be a blow to his business, Mr Morgan said: "I’m concerned for two reasons. Firstly, it’ll reduce the youthfulness of the high street and secondly, this will also affect certain groups who don’t have access to cash because they can’t use the ATMs, mainly because they’re maybe not free and they don’t want to use online banking apps.

"Also, now there are plans to bring in a banking hub which might replace this, but we’ve yet to see when that’ll actually happen", he added.

Elen Jones said:"Porthcawl is lucky to be one of the pilot areas to have a banking hub."

However, Elen Jones, the founder of Jenipher’s Coffi and Vice President of Chamber of trade in Porthcawl hopes locals will adapt to these new changes.

She said:" From a community point of view, people are really really sad. However, we’re really lucky in Porthcawl as one of the pilot areas to have a banking hub.

"Having this hub now is going to be an exciting way for the people of Porthcawl to save the future of banking on the high street.

“What people say is that it’s the death of the high street. I’m not so sure, as people can be much more flexible.

"So, we’ve actually got a collaborative space and more businesses are doing that and that’s the future of our high street."

"But to say I’m not concerned wouldn’t be truthful. In fact, I think it’s a lost game. We have to adapt. The banks are closing and our high streets are changing. Let’s adapt with it."

A spokesperson from Llyods bank said:"Visits to many customers now choose to bank digitally."

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson said: “Visits to our Porthcawl Lloyds Bank and Halifax branches have fallen over recent years, as many customers now choose to bank digitally.

"Customers can use the local Post Office for everyday banking which is a short walk away in Porthcawl, access cash at the nearby free-to-use ATMs, alongside other ways to bank such as over the phone and online, or the new Banking Hub once it is up and running.“

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