Reading East MP Matt Rodda has said that the needs of vulnerable people are being threatened with the closure of Santander branches and post offices.

Speaking in Westminster Hall in a debate on Santander closures, Matt said it is his belief that good local services and accessibility are "paramount for disabled people, elderly people and small businesses."

Since 2007, the number of the bank's branches in the country has fallen by 52 per cent, which has had a considerable impact on both businesses and consumers, as well as the job losses.

Earlier in the year, Santander announced plans to shut 140 branches across the UK.

One of the branches on the list for closure is Woodley’s, well within the boundaries of Matt Rodda’s Reading East Constituency.

There have also been concerns about the changes to local post offices.

In his intervention, Matt linked the problems of bank closures with that of post offices.

He said: "There is a village [Caversham] a mile away from Reading town centre, a separate entity, where three banks and a post office have closed.

"That is a considerable amount of travelling time for a small business trying to bank cash."

The number of post offices in the country has been declining.

Since 2009, Crown Post Office numbers have fallen from 373 to 262, with the South East being one of the hardest hit regions.

In central Reading, the post office is to be moved into the upstairs of the WHSmith branch on Broad Street, as Matt stated in a previous speech to Parliament.

Matt Rodda added that: "the needs of vulnerable local people, particularly the elderly, and the needs of local small businesses" should be protected in their local communities.

He called for an ‘area-based approach’, which would mean that "those different needs are taken into account as part of banking or post office regulation."

Matt agreed with other members of the house that there is a need "to look holistically at the whole parade of shops."