HSBC to close 82 UK branches; revamps network for digital age
HSBC will close 82 branches in the UK this year as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates the trend away from in-person banking and towards digital channels.
Of the branches selected for closure, 81 are within one mile of a Post Office, where customers can carry out day-to-day transactions, and two-thirds are within five miles of another HSBC branch.
Meanwhile, the bank is pushing ahead with plans to create four distinct branch formats: full service; cash service for communities that are more cash intensive; digital service focused on offering self-service technology; and pop ups.
Even stripping out any impact of the pandemic, the number of customers using branches has fallen by a third in the last five years, says HSBC, while 90% of contact with the bank is over the phone, internet or smartphone. Over 100,000 customers a week interact on social media.
Jackie Uhi, head of network, U, HSBC, says: “The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the need for the changes that we are making. It hasn’t pushed us in a different direction but reinforces the things that we were focusing on before and has crystalised our thinking. This is a strategic direction that we need to take to have a branch network fit for the future.”