The Keeping Digital Foundation has joined the campaign to save the last bank branch left in west York, after councillors launched a petition for its survival. 
Halifax confirmed earlier this week that its outlet on York Road, Acomb, will shut following a drop in the number of people using it. 
A spokesperson for the bank said: “Before we close any branch, we look at how our customers are managing their money and using the branch. Most customers are now using our mobile app, internet banking or calling us instead, which means they are using branches, including the Acomb branch much less. This means we’ll be closing Acomb branch.” 
The branch is earmarked for closure on the 15th of January 2025. The statement went on to say that they would consider a banking hub, which would be set up in the local post office. 
Andrew Waller, the Liberal Democrat councillor for Westfield ward, responded to the news: "The announcement from Halifax is a very unwelcome surprise for local residents and businesses and of course for the branch staff who provide a valuable service. This is the last bank branch left in west York, serving not just Acomb residents but those in the surrounding areas. Many residents cannot easily get into the city centre and back to do their banking and have no access to digital services – for these residents, having access to local banking services is essential. If the closure does go ahead, Acomb is fortunate to have a fantastic Post Office – Taylors of Acomb – and a branch of the Leeds Building Society. 
In our "Hi-Street" report that we released earlier this year, we discovered that the high street has lost 40% of banks and building societies. Additionally, 1 in 5 adults in the UK currently lack the digital skills needed to navigate banking apps, with 1 in 20 households unable to access the internet for these services. 
Luke Castle, co-founder of the Keeping Digital Foundation, announced the charitable organisation's support for the campaign: "We're joining the campaign to ask Halifax to re-think plans to close their Acomb branch in January 2025. Their bank branch is the last remaining bank in the whole of west York, a true sign of just how much the banking sector has changed recently. 
"At the Keeping Digital Foundation, we've been calling for a comprehensive strategy to bridge the digital divide and ensure inclusive access to essential financial services. Where branch closures are inevitable, it's important that banks and local councils establish community-based financial spaces equipped with digital resources and assistance, where individuals lacking digital skills can receive guidance and support to access online banking services. These need to be more than just a Post Office branch where every bank may not be supported. 
"The wave of digital transformation in the banking sector has undeniably ushered in unprecedented convenience and efficiency. However, this transition has also left behind a significant portion of the population that faces barriers to accessing digital financial services. A staggering 1 in 5 adults in the UK lack the digital skills required to use banking apps effectively. For many, the complexity of digital interfaces and fear of technology pose significant obstacles to embracing online banking. In addition to the digital skills gap, 1 in 20 households in the UK struggles with a lack of internet access, making it impossible for them to log on to banking apps. This digital divide exacerbates existing social and economic inequalities, leaving some communities at a disadvantage. 
"We strongly support the campaign launched by the local councillor, and we will do everything we can to support local residents impacted by this news. The Keeping Digital Foundation are a voice for our residents, and we understand the need for in-person support - we believe branches can form a huge part in building confidence when it comes to banking. Our Digital Cafes across York also act as community hubs where residents can come down for face-to-face support. We have two Digital Cafes in west York, located at Chapelfields and Foxwood, and residents are strongly encouraged to pop down to discuss how we can support them when it comes to online banking, from help downloading the app to providing free SIM cards so residents can get online at home. Our volunteers are here to support them, no matter what." 
Residents can also get in touch with our support team by emailing, or by calling 01904 900127. 
Tagged as: Digital Inclusion
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