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HSBC to close 82 branches

Written by: Emma Lunn
HSBC says the changes to its branch network are in response to customer behaviour and branch usage, and will bring the total number of HSBC branches to 511.

The branches will shut from various dates between April and September, and are located in cities across the UK, including six branches in Central London.

Of the branches selected for closure, HSBC said 81 are within one mile of a Post Office, where customers can carry out day-to-day transactions, two-thirds are within five miles of another HSBC branch, and nine in 10 are within 10 miles.

HSBC said it would be ‘evolving its branch network to ensure its branches are fit for the long-term future’.

HSBC plans for its branches to have one of four distinct branch formats, designed to provide local areas with the banking facilities that best suit customer needs.

The new HSBC branch formats

‘Full service’ branches will offer a full range of services, predominantly based within large cities and towns where branches see a broad range of requests.

‘Cash service’ branches will support local communities that are more cash intensive with a greater need for access to cash, alongside simple over-the-counter servicing and the ability to deal with more complex issues such as bereavement and Power of Attorney.

‘Digital service’ branches will be counterless and provide traditional cash and cheque transactions using self-service technology.

‘Pop up’ branches will be temporary and movable, and help customers with queries such as setting up and resetting online and digital banking.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s head of network, said: “Over the last few months, we’ve been conducting a number of pilots to test out a range of potential future branch formats at different locations to make sure we are giving customers what they want where they want it. Our findings have led us to create four new and distinctive formats that we believe will be well-suited to serve the different local markets that we operate in, with a branch network that is fit for the future.

“We know there will always be a need for face-to-face customer support and the evolution of our branches very much takes that into account. In recent years we have introduced more digital options to make our customers’ lives easier – depositing cheques or putting a temporary block on a card, for example – and we know that customers are becoming more comfortable primarily using online and mobile banking to take control of their finances, turning to other channels for very particular interactions.

“Giving more and better options to enable customers to manage their finances, including self-service, has uncovered a latent demand. The direction of travel is really quite clear and this is borne out by the reduction in branch usage and increase in digital interaction that we are seeing first-hand.”

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