- HSBC announced 114 further bank branch closures in November 2022
- Firm’s Jose Carvalho said there will be more banking hubs and pop-up branches
HSBC has vowed not to announce any new bank branch closures in 2024, it revealed to customers this month.
In a ‘festive message’ to customers, Jose Carvalho, HSBC UK’s head of wealth and personal banking, said the bank was ‘expanding community locations up and down the country’ via pop-up branches and banking hubs.
Carvalho personally thanked HSBC customers for trusting the bank with their money, while noting ‘there have been times this year that we could have done better.’
That’s it for now: HSBC has vowed not to announce any new bank branch closures in 2024
HSBC has shut 736 bank branches across the UK since 2015. According to data from consumer group Which? only NatWest and Barclays have shut more branches.
In November 2022, HSBC unveiled 114 planned branch closures for 2023, affecting locations like Bognor Regis, Leatherhead, St Neots and Whitby. The closures leave HSBC with around 327 branches in total.
Community banking hubs remain few and far between. Only thirty-one have been opened in towns previously left bankless by the withdrawal of all the big banks and building societies.
While announcing the planned 2023 branch closures, HSBC said it had seen a substantial decline in customers coming into its branches over the last five years, but especially since the pandemic.
HSBC UK’s Jose Carvalho sent his personal thanks to customers
Some of the branches closing served less than 250 customers a week, it claimed.
Critics of branch closures claim the elderly, vulnerable and those without access to the internet are disproportionately affected.
In his message to customers this month. Carvalho, said: ‘The coming year will see us improve some of our products and services, as well as significantly upgrade our mobile banking app.
‘We’re putting our efforts into the things that our customers have asked for.’
He added: ‘We’ll also continue to refurbish our branches and will not be announcing any new branch closures in 2024.’
HSBC has divided its branch network into different categories, namely ‘Digital Service’ branches and ‘Full Service’ branches.
Taking Surbiton in Surrey’s ‘Digital Service’ branch as an example, there is no counter service available and the bank is closed at weekends and open between 9.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays.
In November, thousands of UK customers reported they were unable to access HSBC’s mobile and online banking services for over 24 hours.
Back in May, HSBC was made to pay £12million by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over record-keeping failures.
The US SEC charged the London-listed bank over ‘widespread and longstanding failures’ by the firm and employees ‘to maintain and preserve electronic communications.’
HSBC saw its global profit more than double to £6.35billion in the three months to September from the same period a year ago.
While this was below forecasts, the bank benefited from higher interest rates, enabling it to charge more to lend to people and businesses.