west*wales*news*review

West Wales News Review — analysis with a sustainability slant

Banks Withdraw Services from Llandovery

“Llandovery branch opening hours are changing”, said the letter I received from Lloyds Bank this morning. Changing? The letter really meant “cut”. Cut from five days, Monday to Friday, to only two days a week, and those two days with shorter hours.

From June 1st, Lloyds Bank will open just on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am to 3pm, instead of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm, and Wednesday 10am-3.30pm.

HSBC in Market Square shut in 2012. Lloyds is going part-time. Barclays is already part-time, open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I understand that NatWest is still open five days a week, but only between the hours of 10am and 2pm.

The message is clear. There is now insufficient business in Llandovery to warrant full banking services.

While the rise of online banking is more than a little responsible, the erosion of commercial services in the town is due also to the impending closure of the town’s state secondary school, the former Ysgol Gyfun Pantycelyn. The school has been re-designated a campus of Ffairfach-based Ysgol Bro Dinefwr pending complete shut-down in February 2016.

As recently as 2004, Carmarthenshire Council spent £749,000 expanding the buildings at Pantycelyn to create a sixth form centre, but less than ten years later was preparing to knock them down to make way for housing.

Each closure makes the town a less attractive, less convenient place to live, and pushes it up the ‘in need of regeneration’ list. What’s the point of trying to save public money by closing the school (although never as much as predicted, especially when the higher transport costs are factored in), only to depress the town to the extent of creating a clamour for regeneration funds?

xxxxx

Lloyds Bank, Llandovery — cutting down to two days a week from June 1st.    Photo from Dyfed Family History Society. Copyright Pauline Eccles,Creative Commons Licence

PDR

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7 thoughts on “Banks Withdraw Services from Llandovery

  1. Emlyn on said:

    Four years ago, the Big 4 banks all had branches in Llandysul, but by today only Barclays is left. Even they have “changed” their hours, closing on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    There must be a better way of maintaining banking in small country towns? Can’t the banks agree to keep one resourced branch in each town, which will serve as an agent for the other companies? It is hard for small businesses to do their banking if they have 20 mile round trips to the nearest bank of any description.

    • Excellent idea, I think, to ensure at least one multi-bank branch in every town. Even if you do online banking, visiting a branch is essential if you have cash or cheques to pay in. Closures make life even tougher for small businesses and social enterprises.

  2. Alun Thomas on said:

    No problem at all

    The townsmen of Llandovery re elected a councillor with a thumping majority that is 100% for all kinds of closure! Why worry about Lloyds Bank?…lol

    • Well not just Lloyds Bank of course — all the banks! Reasons to visit Llandovery are floating away on a tide of indifference. A more forward-thinking local government would help, but councillors have devolved too much power to unelected officials, and appear to have very little capacity to affect decisions. Councillors who do try hard to represent their areas are often given a very uncomfortable time by the leadership.

      • Alun Thomas on said:

        Yes I agree totally with the first part of your comments but any councillor worth his salt under the “Independent” banner should be independent and not be under pressure from leadership in any way. If not join a Political Party!

      • You could consider the ‘Independent’ banner as extremely misleading in Carmarthenshire because they are supposed to vote as a group, and generally do vote as a group, under the direction of their leader. It would be more accurate to call them the ‘Independent Party’ and Cllr Pam Palmer the ‘Independent Party Leader’. Maybe not every voter is aware of these arrangements.

      • Alun Thomas on said:

        Yes don’t we know this especially what we have seen of their record over the last few years!!

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