Senedd Research fellowship maps access to banking services in Wales

Over the past decade successive rounds of bank closures and increasing trends towards the provision of fee charging ATMs have attracted widespread media and political attention.

WISERD researcher, Mitchel Langford, an Associate Professor at University of South Wales has published a report on access to banking services as a result of his recent Academic Fellowship with the Senedd’s Research service. His report ‘Exploring geographical patterns in the changing landscape of retail banking services in Wales’ explores how the latest developments in spatial analytical techniques can provide detailed insight into patterns of provision and changes in access to retail banking services.

Mitchel used spatial analytical techniques to estimate accessibility at local community level and to examine the potential impacts that future branch closures may have on the additional travel distance needed to access services. He used his fellowship to develop an exploratory model of potential vulnerability to future closures and to investigate the level of access experienced by those residents who rely on public transport.

Mitchel Langford said “This fellowship has given me the opportunity to work closely with Senedd Research staff whilst applying sophisticated spatial analyses and software developed at the University of South Wales to an issue that is of real concern. The fellowship provided access to valuable data resources to support the study, but much more importantly resulted in many engaging meetings during which a multitude of ideas were freely discussed, developed, and fine-tuned. It has also allowed me to build a much clearer understanding of the work that is conducted by the Senedd on our behalf”.

The Academic Fellowship scheme enables academics at a senior (post-PhD) career level to spend time working with Senedd Research on a specific project, where this will have mutual benefit to the academic and to the Senedd.

Read the Senedd Research article, written by Mitchel Langford and Helen Jones (Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament) on ‘Mapping access to banking services’.