HSBC announces bank closures

20 August 2013

HSBC is to close five branches across the UK, adding to four it has already closed in 2013 and over 200 branches it has shut down in the last three years.

The bank said to had to close the branches because customers were not using them as frequently as they once did.

The banks to close are in: Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire, Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria, Highcliffe in Dorset, Almondbury in West Yorkshire, and Cudworth in South Yorkshire.

The Almondbury branch opens for just 30 hours a week and has three branch-based staff. It will close on 15 November, with the staff offered positions in nearby branches.

HSBC has closed more than 200 branches in the UK since 2000, with nine in total announced to close this year. It is thought to be considering a further 20 closures before October.

HSBC told the BBC that the closures were a "last resort".

"These closures are a result of customers using the branch network less," a spokesman said. "We are seeing a shift to customers using phone, internet and mobile devices."

The HSBC closures come on the back of a stark warning from property firm Jones Lang Lasalle, claiming that half of bank branches in Europe will be obsolete by 2020 as a shift towards online and mobile banking renders branches redundant.

Online banking

James Brown, head of European retail research, said: "Technology - and the increasing influence of online and mobile banking in particular - are redefining the need for physical retail banking space.

"Whilst there is growth in emerging and frontier markets, retail branch networks in developed economies are going through a period of adjustment."

"Some locations will have viable reason to remain, where there is a population with requirement for branch banking or less access to electronic banking. But the acceleration of online banking and e-commerce can only continue."

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