MPs have welcomed a decision by Barclays bank to reverse its decision to end cash withdrawal services in post offices

A cross-party group of 124 MPs, including Newport East's Jessica Morden (Labour), Torfaen's Nick Thomas-Symonds (Labour), Blaenau Gwent's Nick Smith (Labour) and Monmouth's David Davies (Conservative), had signed a letter to the bank’s chief executive Jes Staley, urging him to reconsider the decision.

The MPs had expressed concerns as many customers have been relying on being able to get their money from post office branches as a result of a reduction in the number of free-to-use ATMs, and high street bank and building society closures.

Mr Smith has been particularly vocal on the matter, with his constituents being among those most affected in the UK by the closure of free ATMs.

“I am glad that Barclays saw sense on this issue. Reversing the decision is the right thing to do," he said.

“Access to cash is a very important issue for people in Blaenau Gwent, and is something I will continue to fight to protect.

“After learning about the high number of pay-to-use ATMs in Blaenau Gwent, last month I wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer urging him to bring forward laws which safeguard free access to cash in the long term.

“Legislation which protects free access to cash in communities like ours is crucial.”

David Davies said: "I was delighted to support a cross-party campaign to persuade Barclays to change their policy.

"There is a huge amount of division in Parliament at the moment over Brexit, but it is good that when we all agree on something we can work together and we can get results."

Mr Thomas-Symonds said: “I welcome Barclays’ positive response to the letter to the Chief Executive that I and other MPs signed last week.

“We have to do all we can to protect local banking services and vital Post Office branches that provide such vital services to our communities.”

Ms Morden said: “I was glad to hear this news and was pleased to sign my Welsh Labour colleague Chris Elmore’s letter to Barclays.”

“It’s so important to ensure that vital banking services are always readily available to customers and local businesses.

“Access to cash can also be a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and this should never be taken for granted.”

Mr Staley said Barclays continues to have concerns over the sustainability of cash withdrawal services in post offices.

"(We) want to work with Government and others to address the problems inherent in it, we recognise that the Post Office is a network valued by many communities in the UK today." he said.

“We have amended our position, and will now maintain a full service proposition in the Post Office for our customers, including cash withdrawals using a debit card, for the next three years.”