The closure of the HSBC Branch in Risca, which was confirmed by the bank last month, has put a spotlight on their contempt for the needs and views of not only my constituents, but communities in Ebbw Vale, Caldicot and Usk who also face HSBC branch closures.

After I was informed of the closure, which the bank has planned for Friday 3rd June, I wrote to HSBC on 9th March asking them to reconsider their decision. I asked them to take into account what impact the closure will have on the town and the community.

I am disappointed to say I have not yet received any form of response.

The community is not happy about this. On 11th March I launched a petition calling on HSBC to re-consider the closure of the Risca branch. Hundreds of concerned residents have signed the petition.

Many have left their comments. Local business owners have said they rely on the branch to pay in takings and that may be forced to reduce opening hours if they are expected to travel further for banking.

Others have expressed concern that Risca will eventually become a ‘ghost town’ if the bank, which several say is an important part of the local community, is closed. Risca has already lost other banks in recent years causing people to switch.

Some pay tribute to the staff, who they describe as friendly, helpful and efficient. Although HSBC has said no jobs will be lost, it is likely the staff will now have to travel further every day to get to work.

The fact is real people, especially the elderly and disabled, are now going to be inconvenienced in the name of ‘cost cutting’ by a bank which made £13.8 billion in profit before tax in 2015.

Banks must start treating their customers like people rather than numbers. Although a business has to make a profit, it should not be made at the cost of local communities such as Risca, Usk, Caldicot, Ebbw Vale and other towns facing bank closures.

Let’s add our voices together to show HSBC the contempt they have displayed for the people of Risca is not acceptable and will not go unquestioned.

We need as many residents as possible to sign and share the petition to make sure our voices are heard. You can access and sign the petition online at