Ahead of Nadine Dorries MP’s Westminster Hall Debate on banking the Countryside Alliance has briefed parliamentarians on the impact a lack of access to financial services.

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Sweeping bank closures are being blamed by banks on the lack of usage, with fewer and fewer users going into their local branch and preferring to bank online. However, closures in rural areas, especially in the absence of reliable mobile or broadband connectivity can present particularly serious challenges.

Access to money and finance in rural areas has never been so difficult. 20 per cent of the population live and work in rural areas and yet only 12 per cent of bank branches and 11 per cent of cash machines are located there. This means it is becoming increasingly difficult for people and businesses located in rural communities to access their money, other day-to-day services and those services necessary to run a local business.