HSBC to close 82 branches across the UK

HSBC (PA Archive)
12:07pm, Tue 19 Jan 2021
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HSBC will close 82 branches across the country, the company has announced.

Sites will start shutting their doors permanently from April 23, starting with Edinburgh’s Princes Street branch, with approximately three closing each week until the end of September.

HSBC said the Covid-19 pandemic has seen a greater shift to online banking although insisted the closures were not entirely related to the lockdowns and restrictions introduced.

HSBC financials (PA Wire)

Staff in branches facing closure are also expected to be redeployed to other branches and sites within 15 miles of their homes, the bank said.

HSBC said the closures are part of plans to become a market-leading digital bank and an overhaul of how remaining branches will operate.

Of the 82 sites closing, 81 are within a mile of a Post Office, two thirds are within five miles of another HSBC branch and nine in 10 are within 10 miles, the bank added.

Bosses said the changes will see four distinct branch formats that “best suit customer needs, based on detailed analysis of customer behaviour”.

These include full service branches, cash service branches for customers who need greater access to cash, counterless branches with self-services only and pop up branches.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s head of network, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the need for the changes that we are making.

“It hasn’t pushed us in a different direction but reinforces the things that we were focusing on before and has crystallised our thinking.

“This is a strategic direction that we need to take to have a branch network fit for the future.

“Making sure we have a sustainable branch network is essential to us, and decisions to close branches are not taken lightly.

“By ensuring we have the most suitable branch format in each specific local market that we serve, we will ensure that we are in good shape to meet the challenges ahead.”

She added that stripping out any impact of the pandemic, the number of customers using branches has fallen by a third in the last five years.

Nine in ten of all customer contact the bank over the phone, internet or smartphone and staff talk with more than 100,000 customers a week on social media.

Similar moves were announced in the past 12 months by rivals and a recent report by consumer group Which? found banks and building societies closed, or scheduled to close, 3,770 branches since January 2015.

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