Denbighshire County Council should consider leaving NatWest and carry out their banking with another bank.
That was the view of Plaid Cymru Councillor Huw Jones, Corwen ward, who said at Denbighshire’s Full Council meeting this week (Tuesday 20th February) that many large banks had abandoned Denbighshire Communities and therefore should not be seen to be awarded with the Council who turn over hundreds of millions of pounds each year.
Cllr. Jones raised the matter as the Council were discussing the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy.
Cllr. Jones said, “NatWest have abandoned most of our communities in Denbighshire. They only have one bank left in the county, and that’s in Rhyl. Barclays are busy closing community banks as well. Why should we reward them by allowing many millions of pounds of our money to go through their system when they’ve turned their backs on our communities?
“Our job is to serve the people of Denbighshire. The people of our communities here need banks. We’re not a cashless society yet and many people, especially the elderly, continue to depend on cash transactions. Community clubs and societies including Churches, Chapels and Charities collect cash regularly; and small businesses need to bank cash and have coinage available. These people have all been let down by these banks who have themselves been bailed out by us in the recent past.
“The Council should explore the possibility of looking to bank elsewhere.”
Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for North Wales, Llyr Gruffydd, has been campaigning against losing Community Banking Services for many years.
Mr Gruffydd said, “Banks have closed at an alarming rate across north Wales in recent years. Corwen, Llangollen, Ruthin, Denbigh, Rhyl, Prestatyn have all seen banks close over the last few years, and people have suffered as a consequence. NatWest is still partly owned by us, the taxpayers, and we bailed them and others out in their hour of need, yet they are now turning their backs on us. I agree with Cllr Jones that our public bodies should consider looking at alternative banks where possible.”