Banking giant HSBC (HSBA.L) has announced plans to shut a further 114 UK branches from April next year.
The group stressed that it hopes to redeploy all its employees at affected branches to other roles within HSBC, either to other branches or to a different position.
It plans to speak to all staff in the branches due to close but it estimates that around 100 employees could leave.
The sites will shut from April next year, with HSBC saying customer use has fallen significantly since the pandemic, as more people turn to online banking.
Wilmslow, Hove, and south west London are some of the areas which will lose an HSBC branch later in the year.
HSBC said it will invest tens of millions of pounds in updating and improving its remaining 327 branches.
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.”
It 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.
HSBC said 97.5% of all its banking transactions now take place online.
Read more: NatWest: Full list of bank branches closing
The full list of HSBC branches shutting down is:
Blandford Forum 18/04/2023
Bristol Downend 25/04/2023
Bexhill on Sea 18/04/2023
Market Bosworth 25/04/2023
St Ives 18/04/2023
St Austell 18/04/2023
Whitley Bay 02/05/2023
Bristol Filton 30/05/2023
Waltham Cross 30/05/2023
Dover 09/05/2023 11
Hinckley Road 30/05/2023
Market Harborough 30/05/2023
Stourport on Severn 30/05/2023
Ross on Wye 20/06/2023
New Milton 27/06/2023
South Shields 13/06/2023
St Neots 27/06/2023
Palmers Green 04/07/2023
Bognor Regis 18/07/2023
Park Gate Southampton 11/07/2023
Port Talbot 11/07/2023
Norwich Mile Cross 25/07/2023
Long Eaton 11/07/2023
Bristol Westbury on Trym 01/08/2023
Bethnal Green 15/08/2023
Colwyn Bay 15/08/2023
Ashton under Lyne 01/08/2023
North Finchley 08/08/2023
Henley on Thames 08/08/2023
Cardiff Rhyd y Penau 29/08/2023
Leighton Buzzard 29/08/2023
122 Finchley Road 15/08/2023
Branches that will close but no date has been decided yet
It follows similar announcements by peers such as Lloyds Banking Group in recent months as banks slash their networks to try and cut costs.
"I'm not surprised HSBC have announced they're set to close yet more branches as customers transition to online banking in their droves, but I hope the bank will plough the money saved into improving their digital and telephone banking offerings for their customers," founder and CEO of Mycommunityfinance.co.uk, Tobias Gruber, said.
"It's unacceptable for bank customers to wait up to 30 minutes to speak to someone when it's their only choice because their local branch has vanished. There are no excuses to keep customers on hold, considering the vast amount of money banks generally save from closing their high street branches.
"Post offices are one alternative for basic transactions like paying in cheques and cash, but this move by HSBC will undoubtedly leave even more rural customers that don't wish and unable to use the internet to do their banking frustrated, stuck and unable to access their money”.
Myron Jobson, senior personal finance analyst at Interactive Investor, added: “The announced closure of 114 HSBC bank branches from April next year will come as a blow to customers who rely on them – from small business customers looking to deposit their cash takings, to elderly customers who haven’t transitioned to online banking or simply prefer a human touch when it comes to personal banking. It is also bad news for those with mobility issues and those who live in remote areas should the require face-to-face banking.
“There is also a knock-on effect when it comes to access to cash. Finding an ATM to withdraw cash is a palaver for many as bank branches have been dropping like flies amid the shift to online and mobile banking, while cashpoints are few and far between in some areas. This can be infuriating for those dependent on cash, forcing many to travel unreasonable distances to pay in or take out cash.
Rocio Concha, Which? director of Policy and Advocacy, said: "The decision by HSBC to close a quarter of its bank branch network, after already shutting more than 600 sites since 2015, risks further cutting adrift those who rely on cash – whether it's to pay everyday essentials or increasingly to manage their finances during the cost of living crisis.
"While proposals put forward by the banking industry to offer alternative access to cash could have an important role to play, what's needed most is long-awaited legislation to guarantee access to cash, giving the Financial Conduct Authority the powers to oversee the cash system.
"What is currently missing from the legislation is a requirement that access to cash is free. MPs should vote to support a cross-party amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill to ensure a minimum level of access to free cash for those who use it, including people on low incomes who will struggle to pay to access their own money."
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