Grant to fund research into Welsh bank closures

Banks have closed over 600 UK branches in the past year, but how does the Welsh figure compare to this?

That’s the question that Bangor Business School’s Dr Edward Jones will set out to answer, thanks to a research grant awarded by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.

The funding will enable Dr Jones, a Lecturer in Economics, to undertake a statistical comparison of branch closures within Wales and the UK as a whole. It is hoped that the final analysis will help shape policy talks concerning the development of the economy.

“Previous research in this field has focussed on comparisons between affluent and deprived areas”, explains Dr Jones. “The banks claim that declining footfall within branches is to blame for closures, but these closures have a substantial impact on the local community and businesses, even when alternative provisions (such as online banking) are offered.

“Following the loss in recent years of several Post Office branches in rural Wales, it was suggested that a specific economic policy may be needed for these parts of the country. This research will support the continuous discussions by policy makers on the effect that a branch closure has on the local community, and will investigate whether Wales has suffered a higher rate of closed branches than the rest of the UK.”

As part of his research, Dr Jones will meet two of the National Assembly’s policy makers and will attend a meeting in Westminster.

The project fulfils the strategic aims of both Bangor Business School and Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol in promoting Welsh-medium research publications which will influence the local and national economies.

Publication date: 8 August 2016