HSBC to close quarter of UK bank branches

HSBC announced that it would close 25% of its branches in the UK starting next April, as more people switch to online banking.

The bank announced that 114 branches would be closing and said it was investing tens of millions of pounds in improving its network. This will bring the total number of closed branches to 327.

According to HSBC, the decline in customer use of branches has been so rapid since the Covid pandemic, that some of those closing serve less than 250 people per week.

However, its mobile app usage has nearly tripled since 2017, with most transactions done digitally.

Jackie Uhi is HSBC UK’s managing Director of UK Distribution. She stated that people are changing how they bank, and footfall at many branches has dropped to an all-time low. There are no signs that it will return.

“Banking remotely has become the norm for the vast majority.”

Ms Uhi said that closing a branch can be difficult, but she added that the bank will invest in its “postclosure” strategy. This includes providing tablets to branch customers who are unable to access them.

According to the bank, customers are banking more online and this is why they have changed their customer behaviour.

This follows similar announcements made by peers like Lloyds Banking Group in recent months, as banks cut their networks to reduce costs.

HSBC stated that it would invest tens of millions of pounds in the modernization and improvement of its 327 remaining branches.

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