A councillor has urged businesses to make sure people are not digitally excluded following the closure of a bank in the area.

It comes as the Lloyds branch on Halliwell Road closed earlier this month, with the reasoning stating that visits at the branch had fallen, with the move to a more digital world.

The banking group also announced that it will be shutting 45 branches across its network and the Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands over the coming months.

Alternative options have been recommended to locals in the area, including choosing online, mobile banking, phone, or via the post office.

The Bolton News:

Ward councillor Cllr Rabiya Jiva said: “For us any functioning high street bank that unfortunately limits the contact with the public is a loss in the area for those that rely on it.

“As you know all organisations are changing their platforms, but we have to ensure that people aren’t digitally excluded, and this is something that businesses need to adapt to so that it reflects everybody in the community.

“It’s not just the elderly, sometimes it is so good going out.

“It’s just a personal preference.

“If anyone needs support going forward, they can raise concerns, and they might need a different level of support.”

The nearest branches are Lloyds on Hotel Street, and Market Street in Farnworth.

The closure also means that the Cashpoint machine at the branch is also no longer in use, but there are at least two other ones on Halliwell Road.

There is also a post office on Halliwell Road, and in the information on their website it says they have looked at the impact on customers including those who are vulnerable.

According to a survey carried out for the branch, it says that just 137 customers used the branch regularly in 12 months to March this year.

The data also revealed that there has been a 66 per cent decrease over five years in transactions made at the bank for personal customers, and a 55 per cent decrease for cash machine transactions.

The Bolton News: Following analysis carried out by the banking groupFollowing analysis carried out by the banking group (Image: Lloyds Bank)A survey was also carried out to see how customers banked using other methods, and it found that 38 per cent of personal customers that used the branch also used the post office, 82 per cent used online banking and their phone, and 55 per cent used other Lloyds branches.

A Lloyds Bank spokesperson said: “As many customers now choose to bank online or through their mobile app, visits to our Halliwell Road Bolton branch have fallen over recent years. 

"Customers can continue to bank with us online, over the phone, in person at Hotel Street, Bolton branch, or the local post office on Halliwell Road.”

The future of the Bolton town centre branches is yet to be confirmed, but they did not appear in the list of planned closures.

Before deciding to close the branch, they say they spoke to Mark Logan MP for Bolton North East, the banking team and senior representatives from the post office, Bury and Bolton Citizens Advice Bureau (Bolton), and other interested parties.

In the closing branch review document, on the bank’s website, it said: “Our regular customers were disappointed that the branch was closing.

“We spoke to customers about other ways they can bank including alternative nearest branches and services available at the post office.

“We've called individual customers we know use the branch as their main way of banking with us, including customers that may need extra support, to talk to them about alternative ways to bank and to provide help if they need it.

“We have introduced a dedicated telephony team to provide support after the branch closes to identified customers who may need extra support.

“We have partnered with 'Digital Helpline' who offer free one to one guidance over the phone to support customers to use the internet for banking.

“Customers with an identified need for this service have been provided with contact details enabling them to get free support.”

Lloyds stressed that all affected branch staff will be offered other roles at another branch or in a different part of the business, with no compulsory redundancies planned.

A number of banks in Bolton have shut in recent times. 

The NatWest on Lee Lane is set to close. RBS in Deansgate is shut with services will be run from a nearby branch of NatWest, also on Deansgate, - which is part of the same group.

Westhoughton Lloyds branch closed last year.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.