MONTHLY pop-up banks are being planned to provide a lifeline to vulnerable residents when a high street branch closes.
Tory MP John Baron has been part of crunch talks over the future of bank services in Billericay, which is bracing for the closure of the HSBC branch.
Bank bosses are offering to provide a monthly pop-up service in the town in order to provide a face-to-face service to customers when it shuts in September.
HSBC has announced its Billericay branch is one of 69 across the UK that will be closing due to the rise in popularity of online banking.
Following the announcement of a pop-up service, the town's MP is confident vulnerable customers will still have access to support.
Mr Baron said: "Although the branch closure is disappointing, we agreed a number of initiatives to particularly help the elderly and vulnerable customers who largely rely on in-branch services to manage their money.
“The bank understands that not everyone has access to or is comfortable with online services, and using public transport to access the nearest branch in Basildon is a challenge for some people.”
“The initiatives we discussed include regular ‘pop-up’ services once a month in Billericay High Street which offer face-to-face advice and help from HSBC staff for the next six months, which will then be reviewed with me as to the feasibility of these continuing.”
Mr Baron was told by HSBC executive, Karen Collier, the firm will also invest in services at Post Offices so that basic cheque and cash handling is offered to customers.
The MP added: “Further meetings are planned but I would like to thank Karen for a very constructive meeting.
"We will be keeping in touch.”
Ms Collier said: “The way people bank is changing - something the pandemic has accelerated, and that is true both nationally and in Billericay.
“We will continue to support people with their more complex banking needs through our Basildon branch, but the way we can do this has also evolved, with additional tailored local support, community pop-ups and continued use of the Post Office network.
"Rather than a one-size fits all branch approach, it’s an approach built around the way different customers are choosing to bank in different areas.”