News that HSBC's Brecon branch will close next year has been met with criticism from local politicians.

The bank is set to close on May 9 2023 as part of a wide-range of closures that has seen 114 branches closed nationally.

This has led to criticism from Fay Jones MP and Brecon and Radnorshire Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, David Chadwick respectively, who both demand that the bank continues to support the residents of the town.

Fay Jones MP said: "I am saddened to see the announcement that HSBC Brecon is one of the 114 branches to close.

"While I understand that the majority of jobs are being kept, I very much hope that staff are being looked after during this difficult time.

"I am disappointed that HSBC did not notify me in advance of their announcement that the branch in my constituency would close.

"Without doubt, banking is changing but I will be working to make sure that HSBC customers continue to be able to access their money.

"Brecon itself is a thriving town but many customers will live in remote rural villages.

"I will be meeting the bank shortly to make sure that they continue to offer a full range of services to elderly and vulnerable customers."

"This must not be the beginning of a race to leave Brecon. After bank closures in Hay and Llandrindod Wells, I will continue to use my role within Government to make sure rural consumers have the full range of banking services available to them.

"I have raised this issue in Parliament a number of times, including leading a debate on this and so I will continue to remind HM Treasury of the need to preserve rural towns.”

These words were echoed by the Brecon and Radnorshire Liberal Democrats, who hit out at the decision stating that it is "not good enough” for Brecon residents who support the bank and have expressed concern it could trigger more banks leaving as in other towns in mid-Wales.

The party has launched a petition and will be writing to HSBC in order to urge them to reconsider, stating with profits of more than £2.8bn in the last quarter, they can afford to support customers with in-person services.

Brecon and Radnorshire Parliamentary candidate and Brecon resident David Chadwick said: "Many people in our area rely on this bank. I will be writing to my bank to express my concern.

"I am also worried that Brecon could go the way of other towns in Powys where as soon as one bank announces it is leaving the others shortly follow.

“Not everyone is able to access online banking, it is vital we protect in-person services to ensure people are not excluded from society.

“We are calling on HSBC to instead look at forming a community banking hub like that proposed for Welshpool in the North of the county.

"This would involve multiple banks sharing the same building, ensuring that in-person services are kept long-term.

“HSBC's quarterly UK profits were more than £2.8bn in the last quarter, they can afford to support customers with in-person services."