Luke Fletcher MS has called on the new community bank to set up shop in Pencoed.
Over the past few years, Pencoed has faced the similar fate that many other towns have faced across Wales; banks closing their branches. As of today, Pencoed no longer has any bank branches remaining, an “unacceptable situation” according to MS and local resident, Mr Fletcher.
During the period March 2020-March 2021, the number of bank branches in Wales plummeted, from roughly 405 to 370, almost half as many that were present in 2010. With this trend set to continue, more and more bank customers face alienation. Despite a significant increase in online banking, an ONS survey in early 2020 showed that only 45% of over 65s had used internet banking in the previous 3 months.
Mark Hooper from Banc Cambria said: ‘Wales needs Banc Cambria; bankless communities like Pencoed can be found all over the Country and for many, it leaves people one step removed from their money.’
He added: ‘The Monmouthshire Building Society announced before Christmas that they were working with us on the proposal. This represents an important step as they have the required expertise in many areas in order to get Banc Cambria outlets onto Welsh high streets.’
Mark concluded by saying: ‘There is still some way to go. People rightly expect banking operations to be tightly regulated and we will update everyone in the very near future on our more detailed plans for Wales’ mutually-owned, community bank.’Member of the Senedd for South Wales West, Luke Fletcher said:
“The people of Pencoed have been left behind by their banks. In the last 10 years, bank branches have virtually disappeared from many towns and villages across Wales. This situation is both unsustainable and unfair, and I’m glad that an organisation like Banc Cambria is stepping in to buck the trend.”
“Banc Cambria are putting people before profit, and that’s exactly what I want to see from a community bank. I’m hoping that Pencoed will be one of the first locations on their list when branches begin to open.”