Over a third of bank branches closed
Published on 24 September 2019 06:00 AM
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “The rate at which banks are closing local branches is a huge concern and a serious blow for the millions of older people who rely on them, particularly those who are not online or confident with mobile banking.
“Many older people face challenges when it comes to managing their money and a rapid move towards online banking in recent years has undoubtedly caused significant problems for many customers, particularly those with visual impairments and dexterity problems. These problems are exacerbated when branch closures coincide with poor public transport locally, substandard internet service and mobile black spots, making both digital and analogue alternatives difficult for customers to access.
“It is frankly unacceptable that so many banks are shutting branches and withdrawing essential services before putting in place alternative solutions to meet the needs of their older customers, particularly those in rural and semi-rural areas which have already been hard-hit by branch closures. Banks must think more strategically about how they can support all of their customers to carry out their essential banking in an accessible and secure way.”
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Notes to editors
 An ‘older household’ for the purposes of the BEIS fuel poverty figures being used in the press release is defined as ‘a household where the oldest person is aged 60 or over’.
 Age UK calculation: Based on the End Fuel Poverty Coalition’s fuel poverty projections (available here: http://www.endfuelpoverty.org.uk/price-cap-methodology/) combined with BEIS statistics on the proportion of fuel poor households where the oldest person is aged 60+ (available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fuel-poverty-statistics#2019-statistics).
 BEIS, 2021. Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics in England, 2021 (2019 data). Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fuel-poverty-detailed-tables-2021. [Accessed 03/11/21]. LILEE data, table 22.
 DWP (29 October 2020). Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up 2018-19: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up--2
 25,681 people in total have told Age UK that they are worried about their energy bills. The time frame for campaigners saying they’re worried about bills is 21st Oct – 14th November 2021.
 To date, 6,536 Age UK campaigners have written to their MP to raise their concerns about energy issues. The timeframe for the MP action is Thursday 18th – Wednesday 24th November 2021.
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