Rupa Huq MP yesterday slammed the upcoming closure of two HSBC banks in her constituency of Ealing Central and Acton. Dr Huq told Parliament that the shrinking number of banks would cause problems for small business and the elderly in particular.
In early December 2017 Nat West announced the closure of 197 banks including those in West Ealing and Acton blaming its decision on the increasing shift to online and mobile banking.
Dr Huq told yesterday’s parliamentary debate on the 'Role of Banks and their responsibility to the communities they serve' “I am losing a NatWest apiece in Ealing and Acton. When high streets are hollowed out and they become ghost towns, small businesses have nowhere to deposit anymore. The elderly are on the wrong side of the digital divide and are disenfranchised”
A recent report by consumer champion ‘Which?’ found that 41% of people said that they used their local bank at least once a month. Which? also reported that 1,046 branches of major banks closed between January 2015 and January 2017, and another 482 were due to be axed in 2017. This is despite the “Big 4” high street banks making over £11bn profit in 2015 from their retail branches, which own and operate their high-street networks.
Rupa later commented“Banks are an integral part of every community including ours in Ealing and Acton. The next Labour government will put in place legal obligations which prevent Bank closures which damage our communities and bring banks into line to stand up for our high streets, communities and small businesses”.