HSBC has announced that it will close 114 branches across the UK from next April as it blames the pandemic for a decline in footfall.
The banking giant said it is investing tens of millions of pounds in updating and improving its remaining branch network, which will total 327 after the new wave of 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, usage 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.’
NatWest confirmed in October that it was closing 43 branches across Britain next year including in Coventry, Cheltenham, Tonbridge in Kent, Balham in south London and Thame in Oxfordshire.
The UK’s second biggest lender said the vast majority of its retail banking services can be done digitally and it is the quicker and easier way to bank.
The branches will close between January and March next year.