HSBC has announced today it will permanently shutter 69 of its bank branches across the country after the pandemic and the rise of digital banking caused usage to plummet.
The bank said that the amount of its customers using the branch network had now fallen beyond 50 per cent, with footfall declining over 50 per cent since 2017, faster than any point in the last decade.
The move comes as banks increasingly look to push customers towards digital platforms and slash costs as the pandemic gave rise to a surge in digital banking adoption.
HSBC said it would roll out a new UK branch approach including a “broader range of local support” including pop-ups and self-service machines.
“The way people bank is changing – something the pandemic has accelerated,” said Jackie Uhi, Head of HSBC UK’s Branch Network.
“We know that the majority of our customers have a preference to do much of their day-to-day banking online or via mobile, so we’re removing locations where we have another branch nearby, and where there is a significant reduction in customers using face-to-face branch servicing.
“This will enable us to invest in locations where our customers are continuing to utilise the branch network, including updating technology and refurbishing branches.”
HSBC said the planned changes would lead to an average increase of 0.3 miles travel distance to a branch for customers, with the average distance to a branch now hitting four miles.
But HSBC bosses reassured customers that they would retain access to cash, with 90 per cent of the closing branches having 10 or more free to use ATMs within a mile.