Sir Bill intervened on the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in the House of Commons on Thursday afternoon. Sir Bill had referred in his questioning to the last bank in Eccleshall in his constituency closing “as a very retrograde step” and that it is very important to maintain facilities for banking in rural areas. Vince Cable’s response in the debate is provided below.
Sir William Cash (Stone) (Con): My right hon. Friend made a very important speech relating to banks, particularly in rural areas. Will he be kind enough to give us a few extra thoughts on that question? For example, the last bank in Eccleshall in my constituency has been closed. Does he not regard that as a very retrograde step? It is very important to maintain facilities for banking in rural areas.
Vince Cable: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to say that that is a very retrograde step. The Economic Secretary and I have had discussions with the banks about how to deal with that problem, and about how to mobilise the post office network—under this Government, it has been saved and stabilised—to provide an alternative. I am not absolutely certain, but I hope that an announcement will be made within the next few days to protect the position of the last bank in the village.