Rural desertification: in Charente, the 23-year-old mayor wants to keep “his” bank

“It’s a real blow to rurality. We can not let this happen, ”says Renaud Combaud, the youngest mayor of Charente, elected last March in Aigre, a town of 1,600 inhabitants located in the north-west of the department. The Aquitaine Poitou-Charentes savings bank decided to close the only branch in the center of town there on October 3. A hasty decision that cannot be digested by the 23-year-old town councilor, elected with the promise of revitalizing the village. “They asked us for a courtesy visit on September 7th. This is where they told us the news, ”Renaud Combaud does not take offense.

For its part, the Savings Bank evokes “a thoughtful project and a grouping of activities offering access to more banking services and professions, elsewhere”, according to Laurence Martinez, the communications director who highlights the premises. dilapidated and cramped, open two days a week for 350 customers. “They have continued to reduce opening hours and do not canvass customers,” retorts the mayor. Renaud Combaud has launched a petition in Aigre and calls for a demonstration on October 3 “to push back this closure”. “This decision belongs to us, we will not change our mind,” said the Savings Bank, stressing the importance of its “rural and local network”. The nearest branch is 15 km away.

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