HSBC wants to close 114 UK branches, a quarter of its UK network

According to the PA Agency, the bank’s justification is that it has suffered a drop in visits to these branches over the past five years.

Banking giant HSBC wants to close 114 UK branches from April, around a quarter of its branches in the country, with around 100 jobs at risk.

According to the PA agency on Wednesday, the bank justifies itself by stating that it has suffered a decrease in the frequency of these agencies in the past five years, especially since the pandemic, where the use of online banking has accelerated.

HSBC says it hopes to redeploy the bulk of staff to other branches and other roles, but around 100 people could still lose their jobs, according to the PA.

Following the closures, 327 branches of the bank will remain in the UK.

The banking giant is developing an alternative network of banking “hubs”, offices set up in the agencies of other institutions, such as the post office for example, or rotating banking service points shared by several brands in turn.

“The decision to close a branch is never taken lightly, especially if we are the last in a particular area,” the bank noted, quoted by PA.

The UK is facing massive branch closures across the country, to the point where some areas are now being described as “banking deserts”.

Earlier this year, HSBC had already announced the closure of 400 branches.

If online banking applications and websites “have become increasingly easy to use (…), reducing the need for branches”, this decision may “unfairly affect certain sections of society, such as those who do not have the Internet or elderly people who struggling with technology,” notes Victoria Scholar, analyst at Interactive Investor.

The Unite union says it is “outraged” by these new closures of HSBC sites at the expense of “customers and communities who need banking services most”.

He calls on HSBC to “reconsider” this choice and not “abandon the most vulnerable in our society”.

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