Stephen Morgan MP has endorsed plans to bring banks back to the high street guaranteeing access to face-to-face banking in every community, benefiting those struggling to access cash in Portsmouth.
It comes following the release of recent figures which show there has been a 32% reduction in the number of free-to-use ATMs in Portsmouth South since July 2018.
This has reportedly been driven by the closure of banks and building societies, as more people use online services to manage their money, resulting in a decrease in foot traffic to physical bank branches and other high street services.
Mr Morgan has said much more needs to be done to prevent further decline of high street and bring much needed banking services back to Portsmouth’s communities after a number of well-known banks have left Southsea and Commercial Road in recent years.
Labour announced an ambitious new policy alongside the release of its Plan for Small Businesses to ensure working people and local businesses have banking services on their high streets again.
The plan will see Labour will accelerate the roll out of ‘banking hubs’ which help people deposit and take out cash as well as get support and help with wider banking services.
Labour will work with banks and, where necessary, bring in new powers for the Financial Conduct Authority to stop people being left in ‘banking deserts’ guaranteeing communities access to face-to-face banking services.
Commenting, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:
”Portsmouth people shouldn’t have to pay to withdraw money for a birthday card, nor should local businesses have to travel large distances to deposit cash takings.
“Years of underinvestment in our community has resulted in the demise of our high streets we see today, and the most vulnerable who face digital exclusion are paying the highest price.
“Labour’s plan will bring banking services back to communities who have seen them disappear over recent years, meaning more people in Portsmouth across the country will be able to access the services they need closer to home.”
Mr Morgan has long been taking action to support Portsmouth’s high streets. The city MP has created a ‘support local campaign’ backing small business, hosted roundtable meetings with SMEs and continues to lobby the Government to prioritise small businesses and scrap business rates.
He is tabling questions on these issues to hold Ministers to account over local concerns.