Councillor expresses sadness at 'job losses' after North East bank branch to close

HSBC in Whitley Bay. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO <i>(Image: NORTHERN ECHO)</i>
HSBC in Whitley Bay. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

A councillor has decried the scheduled closure of a North East HSBC.

The banking giant has announced the closure of 114 branches across the UK.

HSBC claims the prevalence of online banking has rendered many physical banks obsolete.

The bank, located at 279 Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, is scheduled to shut its doors for the last time on May 2, 2023. According to the BBC, the closures could cost up to 100 jobs across the country, although efforts are being made to redeploy employees.

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Whitley Bay councillor John O’Shea, said: “I am really disappointed that HSBC is making these changes. First of all, I hope HSBC are able to redeploy the staff there.

“I would hate to see them become unemployed as a result of these changes. I also think there are many elderly people who use the bank but are not online.

“A vacant building could also become an issue. I hope the building can be occupied as quickly as possible after the closure. I don’t want empty shops to be blighting the town centre of Whitley Bay”.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s managing director of UK distribution, 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 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.”

Whitley Bay is not the only area in the North East facing HSBC closures. The Gosforth and South Shields branches will also close on June 13 and July 18 2023 respectively.

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