Closure of last bank in UK's smallest city 'another blow for community', says Pembrokeshire MP

Pembrokeshire, like many regions across the UK has seen branch closures over the last few years. Credit: Google Maps

The UK's smallest city will soon be without a bank on its high street and locals are angry about the move.

Lloyds Bank announced in the summer that its St Davids branch, in Wales, will close on 27 November 2023.

It says with more customers using online services branch visits have fallen. All sites facing closure have seen footfall decrease by an average of 55% in the last five years.

Pembrokeshire, like many regions across the UK, has seen branch closures.

Local MP Stephen Crabb said: "The news of Lloyds Bank in St David’s closing their branch is another blow to the local community".

He added: "It is extremely disappointing news to hear that not only will the bank be lost, but the city will also lose its only free-to-use cash machine situated right in the centre of the city.

Mr Crabb told ITV Wales that he had carried out a banking survey of residents to gauge feeling in the community to the announcement.

He said it showed "clear opposition" to the move and just how important local banking services are to customers.

He said: "With online banking presented as an easy alternative to branch services, in rural communities like Pembrokeshire with an ageing population and often poor internet connectivity, accessibility is very problematic."

Mr Crabb has now asked Lloyds to provide a regular mobile banking van for the city, as it does in Fishguard and Milford Haven. He said he is awaiting a response.

He added: "Lloyds Bank need to recognise that they have a responsibility to provide services that all can access, particularly in the rural areas of Pembrokeshire and I will continue to press them on finding the best solution."

Lloyds is directing its customers to use the facilities of the nearby Post Office counter located in CK Supermarket for paying in and withdrawing cash.

It says over 20 million of its customers regularly use online banking while 17.3 million use mobile banking.

A Lloyds Bank spokesperson said: “As many customers now choose to bank online or through their mobile app, visits to our St Davids branch have fallen over recent years. 

"The local Post Office offers everyday banking and our customers can also bank online, over the phone and through mobile banking.”

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