A public meeting was held in Ystradgynlais last Friday to discuss the future of banking in the town after its last bank, Lloyds, announced it will be closing its branch in the town.

The meeting was organised by Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd Member for Mid and West Wales Jane Dodds, and attended by over 50 people.

Representatives from Lloyds were invited, but did not attend.

Concerns have been raised that bank closures are no longer only affecting small villages and towns, but spreading to the county’s largest settlements.

Ystradgynlais is the second largest town in Powys with a population of over 8,000 people.

The largest town, Newtown in the north of the county with a population of 12,000, still has four in-person banks currently.

Jane Dodds, county councillor Huw Williams and the town council agreed at the end of the meeting to work together to coordinate further action.

“There is a clear desire in the community to fight this closure and I will continue to use my voice to do so," said Ms Dodds.

“Access to cash and in-person banking is still essential, especially in rural areas like Powys with a large elderly population and poor internet access.

“The way big banks are treating customers is a disgrace, they make billions of pounds a year in profits. This isn’t about financial viability, it's pure greed at the expense of loyal customers.”

Lib Dem General Election Candidate for Brecon & Radnorshire David Chadwick added: “This meeting showed the anger in our communities that big companies believe they can repay loyal customers with contempt.

“I felt it was particularly poor that Lloyds didn’t even bother to show up to the meeting and engage with the community."

On announcing that it would be closing 36 more branches nationally, Lloyds said it had come to the decision to close after custom dropped around 60 percent in the past five years.

A spokesman said: “Branches play an important part in our strategy but we need to have them in the right places, where they are well-used.

“We’ll continue to invest in branches that are being used regularly, alongside our online, mobile app and telephone services.”

However, campaigners including Which? say millions of people are going to be affected nationally.

Jenny Ross, Which? money editor, said Britons who are not ready to move to online banking must be “protected” from the branch closures.

She said: "While many consumers have embraced digital banking, there are still millions, including the elderly, vulnerable and isolated, who aren't yet ready or willing to make that switch - and they must be protected."