Local politicans have described the NatWest’s decision to close several bank branches as a ‘betrayal of rural areas’.

It was announced this week that the bank, part of RBS Group which is largely state-owned, will close several branches in Wales, including New Quay and Llandysul in Ceredigion, and Llanybydder on the Carmarthenshire border.

Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, said,

“This decision is a huge blow to people in New Quay and the Teifi valley, and a betrayal of rural areas. We all know that more people are banking over the internet, but these bank branches still fulfill a crucial role.

“There are many areas in rural Wales which have slow broadband, and many of these communities have already seen other banks close. A state-backed company such as RBS surely has a social responsibility, and must take local needs into account.”

Peter Evans, local county councillor for Llandysul, is a customer of NatWest in the village. He added,

“I’m dismayed at the bank’s decision, both as a loyal customer and as representative of Llandysul. We’ve already lost two banks from the high street, and this decision means only Barclays is left. People in Llandsul also face a very uncertain situation regarding ATM cashpoint facilities, which is very worrying for other businesses in the area.”

Mike Parker, Westminster spokesman for Plaid Cymru in Ceredigion, said,

“Just this week, RBS was fined £14.5 million for mortgage mis-selling at NatWest. It seems that the financial crisis – where the taxpayer bailed out the bankers – never happened. This Government is failing to get a grip on the banks. Bankers continue to get their bonuses, while rural Ceredigion suffers.”