A bank is to launch a ‘premier’ branch where only the wealthiest customers will be allowed face-to-face services.
HSBC, which advertises itself as the ‘world’s local bank’, is operating the service at Canford Cliffs in Dorset, where properties sell for up to £8 million.
From June, to be eligible to use the advisers at the branch, customers must have £50,000 savings, or a £200,000 mortgage, or a £100,000 mortgage and £75,000 salary, or pay a £19.95 a month ‘premier’ account fee.
Anyone will be able to deposit and withdraw cash at a machine at the branch but standard customers will not be allowed to access its adviser services.
An HSBC spokesman said the branch does not currently have a cashier service and has only three advisers who, from June, will be exclusively for premier customers.
The spokesman said: ‘The reason we are doing it is because Canford Cliffs is a very wealthy area and well serviced by HSBC. It’s a unique location.
‘A high percentage of customers at this particular branch are premier customers.
‘We do not have a cashier service at the branch because it is an express branch and all customers will have to use the express machines for normal transactions.
‘If it was a bigger branch then we would have incorporated the premier service alongside our normal cashier and adviser services.
‘The only change from June is that the advisers will be for premier customers only.’
He added that other customers will be able to access advisers at the Westbourne branch, one mile away, or the Poole branch, two miles away.
The Canford Cliffs branch is to be the sole premier-only branch in the country, although there are premier sections in 48 other HSBC branches nationwide.
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