HSBC ditches 114 branches as Brits flock to mobile banking
Britain’s biggest lender HSBC is closing 114 high street branches from next April driven by consumers shunning in person services for online banking, it announced today.
The number of Brits visiting their local HSBC store has plummeted since the pandemic, which engineered a surge in mobile banking app usage to manage finances.
The move adds to the 69 branches HSBC said it was ditching in March and means around one in four stores are set to shut.
Online banking apps have become the main tool households use to budget over the past decade.
Smart phones have enabled Brits to manage their finances without needing to go to a physical branch.
The switch to mobile banking has watered down incentives for lenders to maintain a large high street presence, prompting a wave of branch closures in recent years.
Footfall in 74 per cent of branches HSBC is closing has collapsed at least 50 per cent.
Policymakers have warned the shrinking presence of high street bank branches could result in people who still rely on cash – typically older Brits – being frozen out of the UK’s financial network.
HSBC’s Putney, Bethnal Green and Oxted, Surrey, branches will close, it said.
Jackie Uhi, managing director of UK distribution at HSBC, 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.”
“Not only can we do it anywhere at any time of day or night, many more things can be done at the customers’ convenience and don’t rely on a branch visit.”
HSBC’s FTSE 100 listed shares dropped 0.41 per cent on the news.