HSBC UK is to close 69 branches across the country as more customers continue to switch to mobile and online banking.
The closures form part of the bank’s “branch transformation programme”. The programme also includes a wider package of support including community pop-ups, self-service machines, colleague-assisted digital options and a Post Office presence.
The bank says the closures will allow it to divert investment towards its digital and mobile offering, while it also plans to refurbish branches in key locations and offer new integrated deposit and withdrawal cash machines. HSBC says no planned closures are the last bank branch in town.
It says that less than 50% of its customers now actively use its branch network, with average footfall declining more than 50% since 2017, faster than any point in the last decade.
HSBC says the closures will result in an average increase of 0.3 miles travel distance to a branch for its customers.
It will also ensure 90% of the closing 69 branches have ten or more free-to-use ATMs within one mile, with all closing branches having at least five.
HSBC UK’s branch network head Jackie Uhi says: “The way people bank is changing – something the pandemic has accelerated.
“Rather than a one-size fits all branch approach, our approach is built around the way different customers are choosing to bank in different areas.”
Uhi says the majority of customers prefer to do much of their day-to-day banking online or via mobile, “so we’re removing locations where we have another branch nearby”.
“This will enable us to invest in locations where our customers are continuing to utilise the branch network, including updating technology and refurbishing branches.”
Following the closures, HSBC UK will have a branch network of 441 branches, consisting of 96 full service branches, 172 cash service branches which support communities that have a greater need for access to cash, and 173 digital service branches, which are counterless branches providing ‘traditional’ cash and cheque transactions using self-service technology.