Ceredigion’s Plaid Cymru AM Elin Jones has joined forces with north Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd to campaign against the decision of Sandander bank to close several of its branches across Wales.

The bank has announced that its agency in Cardigan is to close. As well as job losses, this means that customers face journeys to Aberystwyth, Carmarthen or Haverfordwest to visit their nearest branch.

The Cardigan closure comes on top of a series of similar announcements across Wales - agency branches in Ruthin, Abergele, Llanrwst, Pwllheli and Gresford are all under threat.

Just three years ago Brian Holland of Santander said: “Santander is committed to developing its agency network further. Agencies are often the lifeblood of rural communities where traditional full banks branches are less common.” (1)

Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, said,

“The loss of Santander would be a serious blow to Cardigan, as it is to many market towns where the bank has decided that it no longer wishes to serve. That’s why I’m teaming up with colleagues in other parts of Wales to launch an online petition, calling on the bank to reconsider its decision. Customers in Cardigan are rightly furious at being treated in this way. Santander UK made a £1.1 billion profit in 2013. Any savings it makes from closing these local agency branches will be chickenfeed compared to these figures.”

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s regional Assembly Member for north Wales, said,

“I’m a Santander customer and was surprised and disappointed that the bank wants to close its local branch in my hometown of Ruthin and other agency branches in places such as Cardigan. I would urge them to re-think this proposal as it will result in a reduced service for many customers.

“I have asked Sue Jones, the regional manager for Santander for an explanation of their decision. If it was a good idea three years ago to commit to rural communities like this, what’s changed?”

The online petition is at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-our-santander-branch-cadwch-santander-yn-ein-tre/sign.html#se