The UK Business Secretary has questioned a bank's decision to close the last bank branch in a Hampshire village.
In a recent meeting (pictured), Jason Judd, who runs the Oven Door Bakery in Botley Road, and Fair Oak’s MP Mike Thornton discussed Natwest’s controversial decision to close Fair Oak’s last bank with the Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable MP.
Residents and businesses in Fair Oak have been battling to save their Natwest branch, which they argue is vital as it is the last bank in the village.
Despite gathering a petition of 1,100 signatures, they were told by Natwest officials the decision had been made and that the bank would shut on July 9.
After hearing about Fair Oak's experience, Dr Cable said that the case did little to rebuild trust between the banks and their customers.
Dr Vince Cable MP said: "A local bank branch is often a vital source of help and advice for local businesses. It is disappointing that Natwest is closing but I hope it will put in place a meaningful solution for the people and businesses of Fair Oak, because cases like this do little to rebuild trust between the banks and their customers."
Mike Thornton MP said: "I’m pleased Vince shares my concerns about this case.
"Natwest pledged they would maintain banking services wherever they were the "last bank in town". Yet in Fair Oak they are pulling the plug and closing the final bank.
"I hope no other town or village has to go through what Fair Oak’s residents have been subjected to. Lessons need to be learned, and local residents need to be listened to."