Llandeilo town council is to close its account with HSBC after claiming that the bank – which describes itself as The World’s Local Bank – was “abandoning” the town.
The account holds all council funds, including the annual council tax precept.
The decision follows HSBC’s announcement that it planned to close its Llandeilo branch this summer – less than two years after axing its Llandovery outlet.
The announcement has been met with dismay by residents and councillors alike.
“If HSBC cannot be loyal to Llandeilo, then why should Llandeilo remain loyal to them,” Councillor Edward Thomas – a former bank worker – told fellow councillors.
“This council has banked with HSBC – and its predecessors – for decades, and our predecessor council also banked with them.
“Why should we as a town support them if they are not going to support us.”
HSBC has claimed that falling customer numbers and changing banking patterns had made closure of the branch inevitable, with all accounts being transferred to the Carmarthen.
Cllr Rob Jones said HSBC had “a duty to the people of Llandeilo and other rural communities”.
“This just about economics,” he said.
“We as a council should write to HSBC expressing our disgust.”
Cllr Colin Jenkins added that the council should look to have its historic documents removed from HSBC’s care rather than see them moved to Carmarthen.
“There are items such as the old town council chain and the council charter which have been deposited at the HSBC for many, many years along with various deeds and other items,” he said.
However, the council’s finance officer Chris Plummer warned that the transferring of accounts was likely to prove complicated.
Despite Mr Plummer’s concerns, councillors agreed to contact other banks in the town with a view to transferring the council account.