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15 Mar 2022

HSBC to close 69 branches in 2022

Find out if your local bank branch will be shutting its doors this year
A HSBC branch

HSBC has announced it will close 69 branches across the United Kingdom this year.

The banking giant said less than 50% of its customers now actively use its branch network and footfall had dropped more than 50% since 2017.

In January last year, the bank announced 82 closures and the latest round will take place throughout 2022. HSBC will have just 441 remaining branches.

Here, Which? takes a closer look at which HSBC branches are closing, and what it means for the customers who rely on them.

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Which HSBC branches are closing?

Here are the locations of all the HSBC branches due to close in 2022 confirmed by the bank on Tuesday, 15 March. You can use the search bar to see if your local branch is affected.

Why are more branches closing?

HSBC said mobile and online banking had accelerated since the start of the pandemic and it wanted to change its approach to focus on more local support.

This includes community pop-ups, more self-service machines, digital support and continued use of the Post Office network.

Jackie Uhi, Head of HSBC UK's Branch Network said: 'Rather than a one-size-fits-all branch approach, it's an approach built around the way different customers are choosing to bank in different areas.'

The bank confirmed to Which? that no jobs would be put at risk and staff would be redeployed to other roles within the bank.

The announcement means the average distance to a branch for in-person contact will be four miles, according to HSBC.

The closures will mean HSBC has 441 branches, broken down into:

  • 96 full-service branches: offering a full range of services, mainly based in large cities and towns.
  • 172 cash service branches: supporting local communities that are more cash-intensive with a greater need to access cash. They can also provide over-the-counter servicing and can deal with complex issues such as bereavement and Power of Attorney.
  • 173 digital service branches: counterless branches using self-service technology.

Find out more:Which? Freedom to Pay campaign

What other changes can customers expect?

HSBC, which serves over 14 million customers across the UK, has committed to the following as part of its transformation programme:

  • Refurbishing branches in key locations so they can support customers with digital needs.
  • New integrated deposit and withdrawal cash machines and standalone self-service machines for cash-dependent communities.
  • Free customer tablet devices for vulnerable customers where digital servicing will support in the surrounding areas where branches are closing.
  • Customer outreach programme (via telephone and face-to-face), to make sure customers are aware of the support available and digital education sessions called HSBC@Home.
  • More than 700 HSBC-run community pop-up events this year in local communities to provide education and account support outside the traditional branch.
  • Contributing to shared banking hubs, where UK banks have agreed to share services to ensure communities have fair access to cash.

Find out more:can you bank at the Post Office?

What else is being done to protect access to cash?

This is the second round of branch closures since new measures were agreed to protect access to cash.

In December, the Cash Action Group (CAG) announced that any community facing the closure of a core cash service, such as a bank branch or ATM, will trigger an independent review by LINK - the UK's main ATM operator.

LINK will determine whether a new solution should be provided and will have the power to commission services such as a shared banking hub or better Post Office services to meet the cash needs of the community as a whole - not just the customers of one bank or building society.

LINK told Which? that of the latest closures confirmed by HSBC, one area is being reviewed for an assessment - which is Bristol.

No additional cash services have been recommended for the other branch closures as they have another branch nearby.

What other banks are closing branches in 2022?

Which? has been tracking bank branch closures since 2015. Banks and building societies have closed (or scheduled the closure of) 4,827 branches since January 2015, at a rate of around 59 a month.

Last month Natwest announced it would be closing 56 branches this year - including 12 RBS sites.

Metro Bank also announced it would be closing three stores, Earl's Court, Milton Keynes and Windsor.

To find out whether your local bank branch is closing or has recently closed, we've created a unique tool to show shutting down branches in your local authority - click here to find out more.

Find out more:best and work banks

Only legislation can protect the future of cash

Bank branch closures make it harder for people to access their cash for free.Our latest analysis found there were 736 branch closures this 2021- an average of 61 a month.

Which? believes the government must act urgently to push ahead with long-promised legislation to protect cash access - and for the system to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In July 2021, the Treasury launched a consultation on how cash legislation could work, including proposals to make the FCA the lead regulator for ensuring that people can continue to withdraw cash locally, which includes powers to hold the banking industry accountable if the further decline of the cash network would put access under threat.

This consultation closed in September, but the findings have not yet been published.

Jenny Ross, Which? Money Editor, said: 'There has been an alarming number of bank branch closures in recent years, and many consumers who rely on banks to access cash for everyday essentials and face-to-face services will be concerned about what these latest closures mean for them.

'While many consumers now choose to bank digitally, millions of people are not yet ready or able to take that step. The banking industry's proposals to protect access to cash must keep them in mind, and need to be underpinned by legislation.

'The government must move urgently to make good on its promise to legislate and ensure that consumers will continue to be able to access cash for as long as it is needed.