ATM Closures — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:53 am on 4th December 2018.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health) 9:53 am, 4th December 2018

The hon. Lady is absolutely right. We have not had so many post office closures in my constituency—we have been able to defray those by moving post offices into shops and so on—but I know that the effect on rural communities is immense. On the Ards peninsula we recently lost the Ulster Bank branch in Kircubbin, with a mobile bank in place at present.

The British Bankers Association investigated lending data and found that bank closures dampen lending growth to small and medium-sized enterprises by a massive 63%. I am sure that other hon. Members can reflect that. The figure rose to 104% in areas that had lost their last bank. We must consider the impact on SMEs, because it is a significant and damaging drop in funding for areas already under commercial and economic pressure.