HSBC is to close a quarter of its UK branches as customers move online and the bank comes under pressure from its biggest investor to cut costs. The lender said it would shut 114 branches across the country from next April, leaving 327.
The closures, which HSBC attributed to a shift in customer preference for online banking, reflect a longer-term, industry-wide retreat from expensive real estate portfolios, which campaigners worry could disadvantage those, such as the elderly, who rely on cash.
HSBC’s UK branch network has shrunk dramatically from almost 1,200 at the end of 2012. In March, it said it would close 69 branches. Its latest announcement brings the total number of branch closures announced by UK lenders this year to more than 600, based on data from cash machine provider Link, representing more than 10 per cent of the total remaining network.
HSBC said more than 97 per cent of transactions, personal loan applications and credit card applications now took place digitally, and that some of the branches that will close had fewer than 250 customers a week.