Government Won’t Force Banks to Keep Rural Branches Open

By Rural Services Network

The Financial Times reports that the Government has refused to intervene to protect banking services in rural areas, despite recommendations from the Treasury Committee.

In May, the Committee called for the financial regulator and the Government to force banks to maintain a physical network for customers who do not use digital services. But the Government said that ‘it would be inappropriate for the Government to intervene in the commercial decisions of banks’.

Nicky Morgan, chair of the Committee, has described the response as ‘disappointing’. However, Pauline van der Meer Mohr, a member of the HSBC board, acknowledged that ‘we need to step beyond the considerations of pure competitive issues and think more innovatively about financial inclusion’.

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