An MP from Ealing has slammed the upcoming closure of two local banks saying it will “damage the community” and cause real problems for elderly residents.
In early December last year NatWest announced the closure of 197 banks, including those in West Ealing and Acton, blaming the decision on the increasing shift to online banking.
Speaking at a debate on the roles of banks and their responsibilities to communities, Dr Huq said high streets will soon become “ghosts towns”.
“I am losing a NatWest apiece in Ealing and Acton,” she said.
“When high streets are hollowed out and they become ghost towns, small businesses will have nowhere to deposit.
“The elderly are on the wrong side of the digital divide and are disenfranchised.”
A recent report by consumer champion Which? found that 41% of people said that they used their local bank at least once a month.
The site also reported that 1,046 branches of major banks closed between January 2015 and January 2017, and another 482 were due to be axed last year.
This is despite the main four high street banks making more than £11 billion profit in 2015 from their retail branches, which own and operate their high street networks.
Speaking to getwestlondon , Dr Huq said: “Banks are an integral part of every community, including ours in Ealing and Acton.
“The next Labour government will put in place legal obligations which prevent bank closures, which damage our communities, and bring banks into line to stand up for our high streets, communities and small businesses.”
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