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Bank Branch Closures

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:23 pm on 30th June 2016.

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Photo of James Heappey James Heappey Conservative, Wells 2:23 pm, 30th June 2016

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. While of course the Treasury will have an interest in the provision of banking, DCMS will have an interest in the provision of broadband, and the Department for Communities and Local Government and perhaps the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs might concern themselves with the overall impact on the viability of communities in both rural areas and towns.

I am also concerned about the capacity of the post office network to pick up the slack. They are offered again and again as the route out of a bank closure, yet too often there are reasons why the Post Office cannot do more, and I will come to that shortly.

Finally, there is the availability of free-to-use ATMs in our town centres. Replacing an ATM outside a bank with something we need to pay a few pounds to use is not fair on the community that then finds itself needing to access its cash at that expense.