BANKS have been urged to share premises and staff to retain a High Street presence, according to Clwyd West MP David Jones.

This follows a meeting at Westminster with senior officials of Lloyds Bank, whose Colwyn Bay branch is shortly to close.

North Wales Pioneer: David Jones MPDavid Jones MP

Mr Jones said: “The message is very clear: if customers of other banks want to keep their local branches open, they should use them more”.

“At the same time, the banks must consider their own responsibility to loyal customers.

"Their local branches are very important facilities, not least as sources of financial advice.

“At my meeting with the Lloyds officials, I asked why the banks could not make arrangements to share premises and staff, so as to ensure a joint High Street presence.

"It is not good enough simply to walk away without considering more innovative responses to the challenges presented by the rise of the internet.

"Other solutions must be found, to avoid the risk of major towns such as Colwyn Bay suddenly finding themselves without a bank.”

He added: “The officials explained there had been a very significant decline in over the counter business in Colwyn Bay because of the increasing use of internet banking and the decline in the use of cash.

“The bank has made arrangements with the Post Office for its customers to withdraw cash and deposit cash and cheques, thereby providing a basic banking service.

"Elderly customers are being taken personally by bank staff to the Post Office to introduce them to cashiers.

“The bottom line is it was not cost-effective for Lloyds to keep its branch open.” The closure comes after Royal Bank of

Scotland and Halifax recently closed their branches in town.”