HSBC bank closures as customers move online

22 January 2007
HSBC has announced that five more branches will close in the near future, following on from 18 closures over 2006 and six closures in January alone.

Critics such as the Campaign for Community Banking Services are concerned the move leaves customers in the towns where the HSBC branch was the last bank branch left 'unbanked'.

They fear this could lead to financial exclusion for people with mobility difficulties, such as the elderly, who cannot access branches in neighbouring towns.

But "a decision to close invariably reflects a long-term decline in customer use of the branch", HSBC told the Guardian.

The decline in demand for face-to-face banking may be linked to growing online usage.

Earlier this month, UK payments association Apacs revealed that online banking had exceeded phone banking in popularity for the first time.

HSBC has been courting online customers and boosting its environmental credentials through a drive to encourage customers to do without paper statements.

The scheme has signed up one million customers to date.

Find out more about HSBC Internet Banking

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