HSBC to close four branches in the North East and North Yorkshire, with 114 nationwide

Credit: PA

Banking giant HSBC said it will close 114 bank branches across the UK from next April.

They've cited declining footfall as the reason, saying they have seen a significant decline in customers visiting their local branch since the pandemic, many of whom have turned to digital banking services instead.

Four of the branches closing are in the North East:

  • Whitley Bay in May

  • Whitby will also close in May

  • South Shields in June

  • Gosforth in July

However the Middlesbrough branch is amongst those pegged for refurbishment.

The group stressed that it hopes to redeploy all its employees at affected branches to other roles within HSBC, either to other branches or to a different position, however the bank has said it expects around 100 staff could leave the company as a result of the closures.

The bank said it is investing tens of millions of pounds in updating and improving its remaining branch network, which will total 327 after the new closures.

The decline in customers using branches has accelerated so much since the Covid pandemic that some of those closing are serving fewer than 250 people a week, HSBC said.

On the other hand they say use of its mobile app has almost tripled since 2017, with the vast majority of transactions completed digitally.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK's managing director of UK distribution, said: "People are changing the way they bank and footfall in many branches is at an all-time low, with no signs of it returning. Banking remotely is becoming the norm for the vast majority of us.

"The decision to close a branch is never easy or taken lightly, especially if we are the last branch in an area, so we've invested heavily in our 'post-closure' strategy, including providing free tablet devices to selected branch customers who do not already have a device to bank digitally, alongside one-to-one coaching to help them migrate to digital banking."