IT isn’t just individual customers who are suffering as a result of bank closures, it is whole communities and the local economy that supports them.

Kington is a case in point. In 2010 it had three banks and its High Street was comfortably busy. Now it has none. It has two cash machines but no machine to receive deposits, nowhere to sort out any banking problems, and its shops are closing. This hurts both the retailers and their local suppliers.


The reason is not rocket science. The nearest bank branches are in Leominster (12 miles, no bus service) or Hereford (17 miles, infrequent bus service).

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If residents of Kington and its hinterland are going to drive or take the bus to either destination to carry out bank transactions, they are going to do their shopping while they are there, probably in one of the major supermarkets which buy little or nothing from small growers and producers in the neighbourhood.

The banks’ war on cash has also helped to kill informal trading and charities, the problems of isolation are increased and small communities are entering terminal decline. How sad that in rural areas like Herefordshire with a large elderly population the banks don’t have the vision to see that conditions which are acceptable to the urban young are inappropriate.