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I am grateful to you, Madam Deputy Speaker, the Minister and the House. In these crazy, turbulent times, we have found some unity. Members on both sides of the House, from England, Scotland and Wales and from rural and—as my right hon. Friend Mr Lammy demonstrated—urban constituencies agree that this problem must be addressed.
We have heard solutions proposed, including the mutuals idea from my hon. Friend Mr Thomas, and some excellent and practical points from the shadow Chancellor. I get the impression that the Minister is willing to listen. She says that her door is open. I hope it will be and that she will put pressure on the banks’ chief executives to respond. I also hope that she will have access to those chief executives, even if George Kerevan and others do not. This matter spans many different areas of government: support for small businesses, community cohesion, social isolation, crime prevention, broadband and internet access and, above all, the alleviation of poverty. These issues will not go away. I am most grateful to hon. Members for their contributions, but action is also required.
Question put and agreed to.
That this House
is concerned about continued bank branch closures and the damage that this causes to local communities, small businesses and the welfare of senior citizens;
and calls upon the Government to help maintain access to local banking.