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The bank said it would try to replace the lost branches with other services, such as cash machines and pop-up outlets. HSBC said fewer than half its customers are active users of its branches, and that average footfall was down 50 percent since 2017. The pandemic has increased the pace of this, it added.
Last year banks were closing almost 100 branches a month over the summer and consumer group Which? has called for a pause in closures, as many Britons face being left without access to cash. Last month NatWest confirmed plans to close 32 outlets across the UK.
HSBC last announced a big round of branch closures in January 2021, with 81 shutting in that year. The reason was the same – fewer people calling into its branches.
Jackie Uhi, head of HSBC UK’s branch network, said: “The way people bank is changing – something the pandemic has accelerated.”
“Our branches continue to support people with their more complex banking needs.”
“But the way we can do this has also evolved, with the addition of banking hubs, community pop-ups and continued use of the Post Office network.
Support “Rather than a one-size-fits-all branch approach, it’s an approach built around the way different customers are choosing to bank in different areas.”
“We know that the majority of our customers have a preference to do much of their day-to-day banking online or via mobile, so we’re removing locations where we have another branch nearby, and where there is a significant reduction in customers using face-to-face branch servicing.
“This will enable us to invest in locations where our customers are continuing to utilise the branch network, including updating technology and refurbishing branches.”
It said the move was part of a wider “transformation programme” which will see it launch community pop-ups, new self-service machines and digital support for customers.
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