HSBC to Close 82 Branches in the United Kingdom This Year

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) announced plans on closing 82 branches in the United Kingdom from April to September this year due to “local market trends, customer behavior, and branch usage.”

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) announced plans on closing 82 branches in the United Kingdom from April to September this year due to “local market trends, customer behavior, and branch usage.”

According to a statement released on Jan. 19, shutting down 82 branches will leave HSCB UK with a total of 511 branches, with many of them remodeled while some of them will offer fewer services.

HSBC UK said that after conducting pilot tests, it decided to create four new branch formats — full service branch, cash service branch, digital service branch, and pop up branch — that “will be well-suited to serve the different local markets.”

“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,” HSBC UK’s Head of Network Jackie Uhi said, referring to customers shifting to online banking, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Uhi also said that even before the pandemic, the number of customers using branches has decreased by a third in the last five years, noting that 90% of all customer contact is “over the phone, internet or smartphone, in addition to talking to over 100k customers a week on social media.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized 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 crystallized our thinking. This is a strategic direction that we need to take to have a branch network fit for the future,” Uhi said.

HSBC UK also said that affected staff will be redeployed to the nearest branches possible, but did not immediately indicate how many jobs were affected.


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