15 March 2022

HSBC UK branch transformation programme update

HSBC UK is today announcing further transformation of its branch network, which will see it close 69 branches as it continues to evolve its branch approach, with branch formats tailored for each local community.

HSBC UK’s new branch approach includes a broader range of local support, beyond the traditional bank branch. It includes community pop-ups, new integrated self-service machines, colleague-assisted digital support for customers, as well as continued use of the Post Office network. It will allow HSBC UK to continue to invest in its digital and mobile servicing and reinvest in its branch network in key locations.

The decision to re-shape the network and invest in a wider package of support and different formats follows an increasing preference for mobile and online banking, which has accelerated since the start of the pandemic. Less than 50% of the bank’s customers now actively use its branch network, with the average footfall declining over 50% since 2017, faster than any point in the last decade.

The transformation programme will result in the following changes:

  • Refurbishing branches in key locations, enabling branches to better support customers with their digital needs.
  • New integrated deposit and withdrawal cash-machines.
  • Free customer tablet devices for our vulnerable customers where digital servicing will support, assisted by the HSBC@Home education programme.
  • Customer outreach programme (via telephone and face-to-face), ensuring they’re aware of the support available.
  • HSBC@Home – digital education sessions available online and surrounding branches.
  • HSBC-run community pop up events in local libraries and community halls to provide education and account support outside the traditional branch (over 700 planned this year).
  • Standalone self-service machines for cash-dependent communities where there is limited existing cash coverage, such as in more remote locations.
  • Contributing to shared banking hubs, where UK banks have agreed to share services to ensure communities have fair access to cash.

The changes set out today mean:

  • An average increase of 0.3 miles travel distance to a branch for HSBC UK customers.
  • The average distance to a branch for in-person contact will be four miles.
  • All of the branches that are closing have a Post Office within 1.5 miles, 97% of which are within one mile for day-to-day banking transactions.
  • Retention of access to cash, with 90% of the closing 69 branches having 10 or more free-to-use ATMs within one mile, and all closing branches having at least five.

Jackie Uhi, Head of HSBC UK’s Branch Network, said: “The way people bank is changing - something the pandemic has accelerated. Our branches continue to support people with their more complex banking needs, but the way we can do this has also evolved, with the addition of banking hubs, community pop ups and continued use of the Post Office network. 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.

“We know that the majority of our customers have a preference to do much of their day-to-day banking online or via mobile, so we’re removing locations where we have another branch nearby, and where there is a significant reduction in customers using face-to-face branch servicing. This will enable us to invest in locations where our customers are continuing to utilise the branch network, including updating technology and refurbishing branches.”

HSBC UK is working with LINK and the Cash Action Group on an industry-wide effort to provide banking services in areas where branches are no longer viable. HSBC UK followed regulatory guidelines closely, working with the Action To Cash Access Group to ensure any impact of these closures on access to cash in these areas is considered and affected customers are supported.

No planned closures are the last bank branch in town.

Media enquiries to:

Steve Gracey, HSBC UK Press Office: steve.gracey@hsbc.com | 020 7991 4118

Hannah Langston, HSBC UK Press Office: hannah.langston@hsbc.com | 07384 792 248

Email: UKPressOffice@hsbc.co.uk

Note to editors:

  1. A list of the branches can be found here.
  2. Following the closures, HSBC UK will have a branch network of 441 branches, broken down in the following three formats:
    • 96 Full Service Branches: offering a full range of services, predominantly based within large cities and towns where branches see a broad range of requests.
    • 172 Cash Service Branches: supporting local communities that are more cash intensive with a greater need for access to cash, alongside simple over-the-counter servicing and the ability to deal with more complex issues such as bereavement and Power of Attorney.
    • 173 Digital Service Branches: counterless branches providing ‘traditional’ cash and cheque transactions using self-service technology, with an emphasis on assisting with digital technology adoption and product fulfilment alongside other more complex, non-standard service requests.
  3. Provision of free tablet devices with training (for our vulnerable customers where digital servicing would support) in surrounding areas where branches are closing.
  4. HSBC UK and other UK banks have agreed to share services to ensure communities have fair access to cash. New shared services will complement other industry initatives to support cash and banking and rolled out alongside free ATMs, enhanced Post Office services, and cashback without purchase. Shared banking hubs are set to be introduced in Acton (West London), Brixham (Devon), Carnoustie (Angus), Knaresborough (North Yorks) and Syston (Leicestershire) – building on the experience of the existing hubs piloted in Rochford, Essex and Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire.

HSBC UK serves over 14.75 million customers across the UK, supported by 24,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates.

HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in our geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,958 billion at 31 December 2021, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.