Barclays bank have confirmed that they will be closing their Tonyrefail branch on the 16th of October. They put the decision to close down to a 47% decrease in customer usage since 2008. Barclays say that staff have been consulted and will be given opportunity to work in a nearby branch.
This follows an announcement in February of this year that they were planning on closing around 400 of its 1,600 UK branches by 2016. It will be a further blow to the town of Tonyrefail which is already suffering , in common with other High Streets, from the increase in out of town shopping centres and internet shopping.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly candidate Cllr Mike Powell said
"The gradual erosion of banking services has been an issue in rural areas for some time and it is now becoming a growing problem in the valleys.
"These branches are being underused - more and more people are banking online. They have their wages paid in directly and pay their bills online or via telephone banking, there is no need for many people to actually go into their bank most of the time. The 'use it or lose it' line comes to mind.
"However, there are still a significant number of people who do use their local bank, many of them are elderly customers still like that personal contact and customer service, seeing a friendly face over the counter who they can ask for advice.
"Then there are local business people and self -employed tradespeople such as myself need to be able to pay in money from customers. This closure will have a severe effect on those and Barclays will almost certainly find itself losing custom as a result of this decision.
"When loyal customers are constantly hearing stories of huge banking profits and massive pay outs to top bosses in the industry then their anger over local branches closing is understandable."