HSBC is to shut 27 branches this year putting almost 50 jobs at risk. The bank, which announced last week it would cut 35,000 jobs around the world, including “meaningful” reductions in the UK, said it would invest almost £34m in its remaining network of 594 branches, 49 of which are to be refurbished this year.
Over the past five years, Europe’s biggest bank, which has a market value of £120bn, says that the number of customers using its branches has fallen by a third. Some nine in ten customers’ contact with the bank is now completed via the phone, internet or mobile phone and 99% of cash withdrawals are made at an ATM.
Stuart Haire, head, retail banking and wealth management, UK, HSBC, says: “Retaining a sustainable branch network is extremely important to us and we need to ensure it is fit for the future. But, the way our customer’s bank with us has changed significantly over the last five to ten years, and that change is something we cannot ignore.”
The first closures will be made in early July, with branches in London, Bristol, Swindon and Leigh-on-Sea set to be axed. Customers will be able to use their local Post Office to access their bank accounts.
Earlier this month HSBC said its global headcount would be reduced by 35,000 over the next three years.