YP Comment: Time to challenge closure plans

John HealeyJohn Healey
John Healey
THE Respected Labour MP John Healey makes a profound point in The Yorkshire Post today '“ this country bailed out the banks during the financial crash and are now being repaid by the closure of local branches on an unacceptable scale.

Though digital technology is transforming banking, there are still many who do not have access to online accounts, especially people living in poorer areas which appear to be paying the greatest price for the damaging cuts now being implemented.

This should not be a party political issue just because the Wentworth & Dearne MP is angered by the simultaneous decisions of HSBC and Yorkshire Bank to withdraw from Wath-upon-Dearne and leave this considerable community, home to 12,000 residents, without a single bank.

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These decisions are affecting constituencies across the county, indeed the whole country, and Mr Healey’s comments about the indifference of the bank bosses concerned suggests that the Government needs to look again at this issue.

Like post offices, the banks should have social obligations – their industry has been heavily subsidised in recent times – and the onus, at the very least, should be on them to set out the alternative provision for the elderly, vulnerable and local businesses whenever they do propose a closure. If the banks won’t act, Ministers should not hesitate to do so.