HSBC to shut 82 branches in UK as customers shift online
PRETORIA - HSBC is expected to close 82 branches in the UK between April and September this year after a shift towards telephone and internet banking, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
The British broadcaster said the bank will be left with 511 branches across the country after the closure.
Sky News quoted the bank as saying the decision reflects local market trends, customer behaviour and branch usage.
No job cuts are expected as some staff will be moved to nearby branches instead.
The Mirror UK said the bank is planning to operate the branches with no counters as well as cash service versions as it looks to update how its network will operate.
“Over the last few months, we’ve been conducting a number of pilots to test out a range of potential future branch formats at different locations to make sure we are giving customers what they want where they want it,” HSBC's Jackie Uhi was quoted as saying.
"The direction of travel is really quite clear and this is borne out by the reduction in branch usage and increase in digital interaction that we are seeing first-hand,“ Uhi added.
Speaking to Sky News, Uhi said the coronavirus pandemic has emphasised the need for the changes the bank is making.
"It hasn't pushed us in a different direction but reinforces the things that we were focusing on before and has crystallised our thinking.“
In it’s report, Sky News said the bank explained that even before counting the impact of the pandemic, the number of customers using branches had fallen by a third in the past five years.
The bank said 90% of its customer contact is made over the phone, internet or smartphone and that staff talk with more than 100,000 customers a week on social media.
African News Agency