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Aegis the Union General Secretary, Brian Linn raises a motion on Moving Financial Services Supporting the e-disadvantaged Composite of motion 29 and amendments at the TUC Conference 2023.

“In recent years, we have witnessed the mass closure of banks, building societies and Post office branches. This is driven by technology advancements and the opportunity for them to make massive cost savings.

“Congress, we’re concerned about the impact this has on the most vulnerable segments of our society, particularly the digitally disadvantaged.

“As these physical branches shut their doors, a multitude of challenges emerge for individuals who lack access to digital banking services.

“This shift disproportionately affects individuals who lack the necessary digital skills or access to technology.

“This includes the elderly, low-income families, those living in rural areas with limited internet connectivity, and there are many more.

“The impact of these closures on the e-disadvantaged is profound. For many individuals, physically visiting a bank branch was their only means of conducting transactions, seeking financial advice, and accessing services such as cash deposits and withdrawals.

“These closures exacerbate the digital divide. As banks and building societies transition to online services, these individuals are excluded from basic financial activities, widening the gap between those who can and those who cannot.

“This exclusion from the formal financial system perpetuates the cycles of poverty and limits opportunities for economic growth.

“Addressing this issue requires a multi-pronged approach.

“Firstly – The Government needs to legislate to make sure that financial institutions who close their branches adopt inclusive strategies that cater to the needs of the digitally disadvantaged.

“This could involve creating specialized digital interfaces that are user-friendly and intuitive, providing comprehensive online tutorials and customer support, and developing mobile banking apps optimized for older devices and slower internet connections.

“Second – Public and private partnerships also play a crucial role.

“The Government should be collaborating with banks to establish community hubs or pop-up branches in areas with high populations of digitally disadvantaged individuals.

“These hubs could easily be placed within the Post Office network for instance.

“Here’s an idea, driven by fair legislation, The Financial institutions and the Government could pay contributions that would help to keep Post Offices open and perhaps help pay to expand the Post Office network.

“These hubs could offer basic banking services, FREE cash machines, digital literacy workshops, and technology access points.

“Additionally, partnerships with telecommunications companies could lead to improved internet infrastructure in rural and underserved areas, ensuring that everyone has a fair shot at accessing digital services.

“Surely, it’s not beyond the wit of this Government, the financial institutions and the Post Office to get together and resolve this issue.

“The question is:

Do they care? No

Do they have the will or the want? No

Are they being pressured into resolving this situation?


“Well that’s where we come in!

“With TUC led pressure and initiatives to demand concerted efforts from financial institutions, the Post Office, the government, and community organisations, the challenges posed by these closures can be significantly mitigated.

Congress, please support