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-Over the past few years, banks have
-disappeared from the high street.
-Our research shows the true cost
-of the reduction.
-Almost half the branches
-of the main banks...
-..have closed in the past decade.
-I'm not sure what the future holds.
-The town will die on its feet
-if we don't watch out.
-HSBC and Nat West have closed
-two-thirds of their Welsh branches.
-More are about to close.
-We had a letter stating the
-nearest bank will be 30 miles away.
-30 miles. That's a long way to go
-for a bank interview.
-In London, banks claim the demand
-for traditional branches has fallen.
-If you look at the figures...
-..less people are using the branches
-than they did 15 years ago.
-Dozens more branches
-are about to close.
-Tonight we ask if it's the end of
-the road for the high street branch.
-I start my journey in Tregaron.
-The town has a long history
-in financial circles.
-Its high street
-was once home to Nat West...
-..and in the 19th century,
-the bank of the local drovers...
-..Banc y Ddafad Ddu.
-Two centuries have passed
-since the days of Banc y Ddafad Ddu.
-Since then, the town has been home
-to some of Britain's big banks.
-Barclays, Lloyds and Nat West.
-Since last year, all three banks
-have closed their doors.
-I'm here today to meet
-the lunch club...
-..who've braved the cold weather
-to reach the Talbot.
-They've met here monthly
-for the past 16 years.
-They've witnessed major changes here
-What effect has closing the banks
-had on Tregaron?
-It's had a negative effect
-on the community. Oh, yes, it has.
-People don't travel
-to Tregaron anymore.
-When they visited the bank,
-they visited the shops too.
-They don't come anymore.
-Banks claim that more and more
-of their customers now bank online.
-That doesn't please everyone.
-I know that people can do these
-things online but not everyone can.
-You can't do everything online.
-We like to deal with a human being.
-It makes a difference. Speaking
-to a machine isn't the same.
-With the town's three banks having
-closed over the past two years...
-..their nearest banks are now
-in Aberystwyth and Lampeter.
-It's becoming very inconvenient
-We have to visit Lampeter.
-It's been a huge loss to us.
-I have to rely
-on my daughter to drive me.
-I don't drive as I used to.
-In June, Lampeter will lose another
-branch as Nat West leaves the town.
-As part of a plan
-to close 20 branches in Wales...
-..Nat West in Cardigan
-will close in May.
-Tonight, local residents have
-gathered to voice their concerns.
-Nat West had 130 branches in Wales
-ten years ago.
-Only 52 remain now.
-It's disastrous news for people
-living in rural communities.
-Ceredigion will now only have
-one Nat West, in Aberystwyth.
-It's a real headache for us.
-Travelling from Cardigan
-to Aberystwyth can take an hour.
-That's very inconvenient
-if you run a self-employed business.
-You don't have time to close
-the shop and travel to Aberystwyth.
-You'll lose money.
-Local MP, Ben Lake, has raised
-the matter in Westminster.
-He wants the UK Government to do
-more to retain high street banks.
-Their official view is
-that this is a commercial decision.
-They're a private company
-and they won't interfere.
-Nat West are owned by RBS
-which was rescued in 2008...
-..thanks to 45bn of public money.
-Taxpayers rescued the banks
-a decade ago.
-They still hold, I think,
-about 70% of Nat West's shares.
-Local farmer Dilwyn Jenkins
-..that Nat West
-is planning to leave Cardigan.
-to have someone you know...
-..and can communicate with locally.
-In Gwbert, not far from Cardigan...
-..Dilwyn Jenkins has been
-farming Gwelfor for 60 years.
-He lives there with his wife
-and farms beef cattle.
-They've always banked with Nat West
-at the Cardigan branch.
-Late last year, they heard
-that changes were planned.
-We received a letter from them
-at the end of the year.
-I think it was the beginning
-They said the branch
-was closing down.
-For them it wasn't a problem.
-They stated our nearest bank
-would only be 30 miles away.
-30 miles is a long way to go
-for a bank interview...
-..to see the manager
-or ask for help.
-According to Nat West, financial
-transactions in Cardigan...
-..have decreased by 14% since 2012.
-Only 58 customers visit the branch,
-on average, every week.
-Nat West claim that other options
-will be made available...
-..including the use
-of the town's post office.
-That hasn't calmed Dilwyn's fears.
-Have the post office staff
-been trained to do this work?
-I'm not sure about working
-with a third party on this.
-It means someone else will be aware
-of our financial details.
-When Nat West closes its doors,
-Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC...
-..will remain in Cardigan.
-Dilwyn is worried that they
-will eventually close their doors.
-He feels that banks should consider
-their duties to customers like him.
-If they expect us
-to be their customers...
-..they should keep
-local branches open...
-..to allow us to go in
-and receive friendly advice...
-..and to discuss financial matters
-with people who know us.
-I'm heading north
-to hear similar concerns.
-Here, in the market town
-..British and international banks
-have opened branches over the years.
-Today, only one
-part-time bank remains.
-Santander was located here
-for a time.
-On the right
-is the old Nat West bank.
-When did this one close?
-Seven, eight years ago.
-Rosslyn Morgan is the clerk
-of Llanrwst Town Council.
-He shows me the situation along
-the town's high street, the A470.
-HSBC were here until last June.
-HSBC were the last
-full-time bank in town.
-The nearest HSBC branches
-are in Llandudno and Colwyn Bay.
-Public transport isn't the best.
-Even by car, you're talking about
-a journey of two hours or more...
-..to get there,
-do your business and travel back.
-At the end of 2017, there was more
-bad news for the people of Llanrwst.
-The town's last bank, Barclays,
-is open for three days a week.
-It will close its doors for the
-final time at the end of the month.
-According to Barclays, more and more
-people bank online and on the phone.
-They've seen a drop of 12%
-in customer use of the bank...
-..over the past two years.
-Rosslyn isn't convinced.
-Barclays, and to be honest
-every other bank...
-..use the same mantra
-with us and everyone else.
-They state that a customer-led
-revolution has caused the changes.
-If you speak to people
-on the streets...
-..the people of Llanrwst and many
-other places, the message is clear.
-a customer-led revolution.
-It isn't a voluntary choice,
-it's being forced upon us.
-According to Barclays,
-they have branches...
-..in Llandudno and Colwyn Bay for
-customers wishing to visit a branch.
-That's no comfort for Dwynwen Berry.
-She's a businesswoman
-who runs a Welsh shop in Llanrwst.
-The town will die on its feet
-if we don't watch out.
-When people are banking
-on the coastline...
-they do their shopping.
-The streets of Llanrwst
-are a lot quieter.
-She says that closing the
-other banks has affected the town.
-Cafes have closed,
-shops have closed.
-The fact that banks are closing
-isn't helping the situation.
-It's another move that acts
-against a successful Llanrwst.
-Being without a bank is nonsense.
-You're a businesswoman. You must
-understand that businesses change.
-Of course, yes,
-and I do bank online.
-I pay bills online...
-..but I can't bank cash online.
-You can't stuff your five-pound
-notes and coins into a computer.
-They say you can send it by post.
-That means cheques
-will take longer to clear by post.
-It's just another problem.
-The message is the same
-from other businesses.
-Deiniol ap Dafydd has run the Blas
-ar Fwyd cafe and shop for 30 years.
-Having a local bank was crucial when
-he first established the business.
-When I started, I was in contact
-with a local bank manager.
-He could decide, from knowing us,
-if we were suitable for a loan.
-By now, that right
-left this valley decades ago.
-The branches are now disappearing
-from town too.
-It's taken a layer of responsibility
-out of society.
-He says that losing banks
-means losing time.
-He has to travel to Colwyn Bay
-and Porthmadog these days.
-We have to bank cheques,
-we have to bank cash.
-We need change.
-to do that in Llanrwst now.
-According to Deiniol, it's time
-for banks to think creatively...
-..if they want to strike
-a better balance...
-..between their own interests
-and those of their customers.
-Could there be a branch,
-like the last one in town...
-by many different banks?
-Office blocks have shared buildings
-between businesses for years.
-Why can't a bank counter be HSBC on
-a Monday and Barclays on a Tuesday?
-Why are branches closing
-Later, I visit one of the world's
-global banking centres, London...
-..in my search of answers.
-Canary Wharf, London.
-Here, at the headquarters
-of some of our high street banks...
-..the global banking crisis
-rocked the world.
-Back then, the British Government
-stepped in to save the sector.
-500bn of public money was used.
-the city of London has settled down.
-Away from the city,
-great changes have happened.
-During the past 10 years, HSBC has
-closed 65% of its Welsh branches.
-Nat West has closed 63%.
-Between the main banks, HSBC,
-Nat West, Barclays and Lloyds...
-..518 branches were open in Wales
-By today, 246 of those have closed.
-We asked the banks' chief executives
-..but none agreed.
-I'm in London today
-to meet John Derrick.
-His roots are in Llanelli.
-He's managing director of private
-international bank JP Morgan.
-He's also worked
-for one of the high street banks.
-He feels that the sector is
-more answerable and responsible...
-..than it was
-before the 2008 crisis...
-..but profits are still the target.
-Money talks for the banks.
-They worry little
-about the effect on communities.
-For any private company...
-..what matters is pleasing
-customers and shareholders.
-there are no shareholders.
-It's that simple.
-You can't just satisfy shareholders,
-that won't generate business.
-We've heard concerns across Wales
-that towns are dying on their feet.
-He doesn't accept that.
-Communities are created and founded
-on local economies.
-The banks accept the investment,
-the money that's made by people.
-The bank doesn't create
-the local economy.
-You have to question the purpose
-of the bank in that locality.
-The purpose of the bank
-is to fund new companies...
-..and work with the community to
-be there to create new businesses.
-But the bank, per se,
-can't create the economy.
-It's wrong to think of a bank
-in that way.
-According to John Derrick, the banks
-face challenges in the future...
-..because of competition
-from online banks.
-Customers have more power
-..because they're not tied
-to local branches.
-Customers can choose which bank
-they prefer to work with.
-People don't find themselves
-in a position they've been...
-..all their lives just because
-their parents banked with that bank.
-That doesn't make any sense to me.
-I don't do that.
-As the British banking
-..back in Wales, there's still
-a demand for high street branches.
-Banks are trying to strike a balance
-between old and new.
-on the North Wales coast...
-..with a population of 18,000,
-Nat West closed its doors last June.
-Today, the Nat West van, Heulwen,
-visits the town's car park.
-Why have you brought the mobile bank
-to Prestatyn today?
-Last year we closed the branch
-Because of that, we bring the
-mobile bank here to help customers.
-The way people bank with us
-A lot of people choose
-to do their banking digitally.
-We understand that not everyone
-is comfortable with that.
-Rachel Williams is
-a community banker with Nat West.
-She travels to areas where branches
-have closed to help the customers.
-From my experience, people
-like seeing us here every week.
-People like using the van...
-..or speaking to me
-as a community banker.
-It gives them a face to the name.
-The van visits Prestatyn weekly
-and stays for 90 minutes.
-Not everyone is happy.
-It's very sad, for the town
-and for everyone.
-Prestatyn is busier now
-with the new development.
-There are plenty of shops
-on the streets.
-I know that people aren't happy.
-When the news broke about the
-closure of Prestatyn's Nat West...
-..local people started a petition
-to try and reverse the decision.
-Do you understand
-why some people aren't happy?
-We've spoken to people who'd prefer
-to see a bank on the high street.
-The way people have banked with us
-has changed over the years.
-We understand that not everyone
-is comfortable banking online.
-We've put all these things together
-to try and help our customers.
-In Bala, the departure of another
-bank has created concern here too.
-Barclays will shut on March 23...
-..because less people use the
-branch according to their figures.
-There's been a reduction
-of 14% over the past two years.
-An event has been organised
-to help customers bank online.
-One person who's worried
-about the bank's decision...
-..is the local MP.
-We all need banks. If you're a
-business, if you work, you're paid.
-If you receive a pension or benefits
-through a bank, this all happens.
-Since I was elected as an MP
-..I've watched the final bank
-leave the high street in Harlech.
-The same in Blaenau Ffestiniog.
-We're here in Bala today
-seeing Barclays preparing to leave.
-At the end of January, Plaid Cymru
-presented a bill to Westminster.
-They wanted the British Government
-to change the rules...
-..to allow more than one bank
-to share a building.
-They wanted investment
-in post offices...
-..to offer more banking services and
-force banks that want to close...
-..to consider the time taken
-to reach the next closest branch.
-I'm disappointed with Westminster
-for not holdings banks to account...
-..better than they have.
-In the future, we must start
-looking to our strengths.
-We must ensure that we maintain
-and strengthen current services.
-I asked the Treasury for
-their response to the concerns...
-wasn't doing enough.
-The Treasury understands the
-effect branch closures have had...
-..on communities and employment.
-They're pressing banks...
-..to give as much notice
-as they can before closing...
-..and to explain the available
-options for banking after closure.
-They do say that bank closures are
-a result of commercial decisions.
-They don't interfere
-in such matters.
-Back in Wales,
-where Nat West has closed...
-..two-thirds of its branches
-in 10 years...
-..it says it's offering more
-services than ever to customers...
-and digitally online.
-On Gwelfor farm near Cardigan...
-..with Dilwyn Jenkins'
-local Nat West preparing to close...
-isn't without its obstacles.
-"This script may be busy."
-It won't let me in.
-I've tried to log on
-to Nat West online a few times.
-I've checked the speed
-of our broadband.
-It's come up here as 0.29 Mbps.
-Impossible. No chance.
-After decades of banking
-at their local branch...
-..on May 30 this year...
-..Dilwyn Jenkins and his family,
-like many others across Wales...
-..will lose the bank that's been
-so crucial in their lives.
-It's a change that will knock
-Cardigan and towns across Wales.
-This message needs to be heard
-by Nat West and the other banks.
-We need them in rural towns
-Back in Llanrwst, as banks claim
-that a drop in branch usage...
-..triggered their decision
-to close branches...
-..Deiniol ap Dafydd has a word
-of advice for the decision makers.
-Decreasing the choice...
-..and decreasing the service
-is the easy option financially.
-I don't think that's
-a long-term business plan...
-..that will satisfy society...
-..the business community...
-..or the country going forward.
-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.