Call for plans to prevent bank closures is backed

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CALLS for action to be taken to prevent more high street banks from closing have been backed by Portsmouth’s Labour leader.

Cllr Stephen Morgan has backed plans to tackle bank closures. The news follows the Co-operative Bank, in Commercial Road Portsmouth, announcing it will close on June 27, meaning the nearest branch will be in Chichester.

Cllr Morgan said: ‘Over two-thirds of small businesses report that a local bank branch is important and lending to small businesses has been found to drop by 63 per cent in areas with a recent bank branch closure.

‘For deprived communities and households, loss of a local branch significantly diminishes their abilities to access basic financial services.

‘We’ve seen too many branches close in our city over the years. Now we learn of the Co-op going in June. I am hugely concerned.

‘I back plans to put in place the legal obligations to bring banks into line and stand up for our high streets, communities and small businesses.’

A plan has been announced by Labour to make changes to the banking law that will prevent banks closing high-street branches.

It says it would give the ‘Access to Banking Protocol’ more teeth.