Welsh Labour’s Member of the Senedd for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, Dawn Bowden MS, has welcomed the announcement that the Welsh Labour Government is working with Monmouthshire Building Society to accelerate the establishment and roll-out of a community bank across Wales.
Welsh Labour’s manifesto for the Senedd election included a commitment to secure the creation of a Community Bank for Wales, supporting its growth so it can open 30 branches across Wales over the next decade.
Welsh Labour’s Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, has confirmed that Monmouthshire Building Society, working with the Welsh Government and Cambria Cydfuddiannol Ltd (CCL), has announced its intent to develop its approach of delivering a community bank in Wales – Banc Cambria – which will aim to provide everyday full retail banking services in communities across Wales by 2023.
The UK has one of the least diverse Retail Banking systems in Europe, dominated by a small number of very large banks, which operate according to a shareholder-value business model, seeking to maximise profits for their owners.
Since Welsh Ministers initially set out plans to explore the creation of a Community Bank for Wales, traditional High Street Banks have further accelerated their retreat from Wales’ High Streets.
Welcoming the plans, Dawn Bowden MS said:
“Over the past decade, there has been a steep decline in the number of high street banks in our local communities and high streets, leaving many people without access to accessible banking services.
“I’m pleased that Monmouthshire Building Society has announced its intention to establish a community bank in Wales, with the aim of providing everyday full retail banking services.
“This will have a considerable impact on our communities and high streets and I hope it improves access to financial support in locations that are more convenient for residents across Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney.”
Monmouthshire Building Society has announced its intent to develop its approach of delivering a community bank in Wales – Banc Cambria.
Banc Cambria aims to provide everyday full retail banking services, offering multichannel, bilingual banking services for individuals and small businesses; accessible through telephone, digital, online and face-to-face.
Banc Cambria cannot replace the increasing number of branches closed by the High Street Banks. However, Banc Cambria aims to establish around 30 new outlets over the next decade – with a focus on communities that have lost provision.
Banc Cambria estimates that the Community Bank for Wales could have a customer launch during 2023.