MORE BANK CLOSURES IN NORTH AYRSHIRE SHOWS ACTION NEEDED TO TACKLE FINANCIAL EXCLUSION

After TSB announced it would become the latest bank to abandon local communities in North Ayrshire, I presented a petition in the House of Commons on behalf of my constituents, calling for urgent action to tackle the exodus of high street banks from North Ayrshire.

The latest proposals from TSB to close branches in Kilbirnie, Largs and Saltcoats means that seven towns in my constituency – Beith, Dalry, Kilbirnie, West Kilbride, Ardrossan, Stevenston and Kilwinning - are now without any high street banks at all, making it one of the worst hit parts of the UK for bank branch closures. This will adversely affect local businesses who need to deposit cash at the end of the business day, hitting our struggling high street businesses hard. It will only increase financial exclusion for vulnerable people, particularly elderly and disabled residents, forcing them to bank online, even if they are not comfortable with this, or undertake long journeys to their new “local” branch.

The petition therefore called on the UK Government to work with the banking industry to develop banking hubs for communities to ensure financial inclusion for all, and ensuring that banks live up to their social obligations to their customers.

Watch my contribution below.

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