HSBC to close 114 branches across UK as use drops ‘significantly’ after pandemic

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HSBC has said it will close 114 branches across the UK from next year as customers using them have fallen significantly since the Covid pandemic.

The bank has announced it will slash the number of branches in the country by a quarter in a new wave of closures.

It has already shut down more than 150 since last year.

HSBC said the use of its bank branch network by regular customers had dropped by 65 per cent over the last five years, with the decline in use accelerating since the Covid pandemic.

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Some of the branches closing are now serving fewer than 250 customers a week, it said.

On the other hand, usage of its mobile app has almost tripled since 2017, with the vast majority of transactions completed digitally.

The branch closures – announced on Wednesday – will take place from April next year. Eleven will initially close in the first month, with more following throughout the year until August.

Those shutting down include the Twickenham, Putney and Dover branches, as well as three different ones in Bristol.

The bank said it was investing tens of millions of pounds in updating and improving its remaining branch network.

HSBC says the use of its branch network has dropped over the past five years (Charlotte Ball/PA)

(PA Archive)

The announcement comes just months after HSBC announced the closure of 69 UK branches.

This was on top of the 82 branches axed last year in total – including a number in central London.

After the latest closures were announced, Jackie Uhi from HSBC UK said: “People are changing the way they bank and footfall in many branches is at an all-time low, with no signs of it returning. Banking remotely is becoming the norm for the vast majority of us.”

The managing director of UK distribution added: “The decision to close a branch is never easy or taken lightly, especially if we are the last branch in an area, so we’ve invested heavily in our ‘post-closure’ strategy, including providing free tablet devices to selected branch customers who do not already have a device to bank digitally, alongside one-to-one coaching to help them migrate to digital banking.”

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