Politicians savaged another bank which has announced that two of its branches in Powys will close next year.
Spanish firm, Santander, has announced that its branch in Builth Wells, along with the one in Llandrindod Wells, will face closure next year.
The branches are set to close for good in May 2018 and is seen as more “frustrating news,” following on from the recent closure of other banks in Powys, including NatWest in Builth.
Kirsty Williams, AM for Brecon and Radnorshire said: “Yet again we see a big bank deserting its rural customers. The decision will be a bitter blow to our high streets.
“My office were in contact with Santander before this decision, urging them not to close any more branches. Sadly, until the government in Westminster strengthens the banking code they will continue to ignore the needs of rural areas.
“Santander have confirmed they will meet with me urgently to discuss this issue; I will leave them with no doubt about the level of anger and disappointment in our communities.”
Brecon and Radnorshire MP, Chris Davies, has also condemned the move.
Mr Davies, said: “This is extremely frustrating news and I am disappointed the banks have been closing across rural Wales over the past 10 years.
“I will be contacting Santander, immediately to arrange a meeting to discuss the proposed closure.”
Already on social media, residents are vowing to take out their money and close their Santander bank accounts.
A spokesperson for Santander said, “Santander is committed to ensuring we provide a good level of service that meets the changing needs of our customers. In order to do this we continually review our branch network and sometimes need to make difficult decisions over our less utilised branches, ensuring colleagues and customers are informed well in advance of any changes.
“As a result of our recent review, Santander has announced that it will be closing its Llandrindod Wells and Builth Wells branches in May 2018.”
The spokesperson added: “This decision has not been taken lightly and follows a strategic review looking across our UK branch network, changing customer behaviours, branch and digital channel usage, alternative ways for our customers to bank with us, whilst supporting local communities.
“Closing our lesser used branches means we’re able to reinvest in our branch network to improve facilities, as well as investing further in digital capabilities to deliver a better experience for our customers, whilst continuing to provide services to local communities.”
The nearest alternative Santander branches are located in Brecon and Newtown.
See full story in the County Times