Lloyds Bank is to close its branch in Rhymney and replace it with a ‘mobile bank’.
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney MP Gerald Jones and AM Dawn Bowden have demanded a meeting with bank bosses to discuss the closure of the High Street branch. Lloyds is set to close in January next year.
The two Labour politicians recently held a public meeting.
Dozens of residents attended along with local councillors Carl Cuss, Gaynor Oliver, David Harse and John Bevan. While invited, nobody from Lloyds Bank was available to attend.
Speaking after the event, Member of Parliament Mr Jones said: “This was a really important meeting for residents to raise their concerns about the closure.
“Residents raised a number of concerns around the lack of information available from the bank and the fact that some customers had found out about the proposals via conversations with friends and neighbours.
“Lloyds Bank has some very long-standing customers in Rhymney and surrounding area, many of whom have banked there for well over 50 years.
“It’s deeply disappointing to see that Lloyds Bank appear to have turned their back on our community, and I am looking forward to meeting with Lloyds Bank to raise with them the concerns of local residents.”
Assembly Member Ms Bowden added: “The closure of the bank branch is a bitter blow to these efforts.
“I have previously met with Welsh Government ministers to discuss how we can work to make Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney thriving communities. Alongside meeting with Lloyds Bank, I will continue discussions with them to see how we can continue to develop our community.”
A Lloyds Bank spokeswoman said: “We have made the difficult decision to close the Lloyds Bank Rhymney branch in January 2019 due to the changing ways customers choose to bank with us, which has resulted in the branch being used less often.
“We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause and will be speaking to customers about the new mobile branch service, which will be on the road before the branch closes, as well as their nearest alternative branch, which is Ebbw Vale.
“The new mobile branch service will provide a vital service to the Rhymney area, by giving customers access to everyday banking services such as making deposits, withdrawing cash and paying bills.
“Customers can also continue to access their banking locally by visiting the nearby Post Office, which is a short distance from the branch.”
The planned closure of Lloyds in Rhymney follows the axing of several branches by banking groups across Caerphilly County Borough in recent years.
In December 2016, Barclays closed in Nelson, while HSBC closed its branches in Risca and Bargoed in June 2016 and 2014 respectively.
Lloyds closed in Newbridge in October 2016 which followed closures in the town from HSBC and Barclays. Lloyds already uses its mobile branch for Newbridge visiting three times a week.
NatWest closed its branch in Ystrad Mynach in October last year.