Bankhead residents fight bank closure

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ATLANTA - A fight to keep a bank from closing in one neighborhood is heating up in northwest Atlanta.

Residents say if their Bank of America on Donald Lee Holloway Parkway shuts down, in addition to creating an inconvenience, it will also cripple a community that’s already had its share of tough breaks.

Ollie Young, 92, has kept track of her finances at the Bankhead bank for decades. She said she’ll be one of the many residents who will be sad to see it go.

“I hated it so bad because I live down the street there on Hill Street and I usually come up here and do my business up here,” Young told Channel 2’s Erin Coleman.

The bank will close March 8, but not without a fight from community leaders. State Sen. Vincent Fort and Atlanta council member Felicia Moore are leading the charge.

“We’re just going to try to understand how serious this is to the community,”Fort said.

Fort says this area has already been crippled by schools that have closed, a proposed post office that will close, and foreclosures. Fort also noted a big list of all the foreclosures by Bank of America and its subsidiaries in this ZIP code in the past year alone.

“It’s almost like they sucked all the life out of the community with these predatory loan foreclosures and now they're skulking off after they've gotten all they can out of the community,” Fort said.

In a statement emailed to Channel 2 Action News, Bank of America said "the decision to close this particular banking center was not easy, and is driven primarily by a decline in transactions."

The statement went on to say "Bank of America is dedicated to strengthening Atlanta’s low- and moderate-income communities through lending, investing and financing over $2.6 billion last year alone."

Still customers say it will be a huge loss. The next bank is several miles away and not as easy for many seniors to get to.

“Well, it's just hard for me,” Young said.

A rally will be held  at the Word of God Ministries Church, 3120 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway at 7 p.m.

Community leaders are encouraging everyone who wants equitable financial services in all areas of the city to show their support.