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Bank HSBC have announced the closure of 114 branches across the UK from April 2023. The bank said the number of customers using its branches has fallen dramatically since the pandemic in 2020.
HSBC have also said they will try to save as many jobs as possible. Around 100 people will lose their jobs, with the remaining staff from the stores being moved to different stores instead. The company has said the remaining 327 across the UK will be updated.
A worker’s union have accused the bank of abandoning customers. HSBC is just one of many banks to close physical branches nationwide. Thousands of bank branches have been closed by lenders over the last few years. With the number of people banking online increasing significantly, banks close stores to cut costs.
Lloyds Banking Group owns Halifax and Bank of Scotland and has closed more than 850 branches. There are plans to close 70 more in 2023. Natwest, which owns RBS and Ulster Bank, has closed 1,200 branches, and Barclays has shrunk the most of all individual banks, closing 960 branches in total.
The speed at which banking branches are being closed is a huge concern for many, particularly those customers who may be weary of online banking, or unable to manage this themselves. Physical banks provide reassurance for many.
27 ‘shared banking hubs’ are set to be built across the UK. However, these are still just a promise, with only two being opened so far. Evidently, the rate at which shared banking hubs are opening cannot keep up with the speed at which hundreds of bank branches are being axed across the country.
Shared banking hubs help businesses and vulnerable individuals to deposit and withdraw cash, no matter which bank they belong to.
These closures are not the first for HSBC. Back in March of this year, the company announced the closure of 69 branches this autumn. It said some HSBC branches only serve up to 250 customers weekly. Similarly, 90% of transactions are now completed digitally.
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