Four branches of multinational bank HSBC will close across Lincolnshire next year, as part of cutbacks brought on by reduced footfall and a move to online banking.
The bank has announced it will be closing 114 stores across the United Kingdom in 2023, and four of them are situated in Greater Lincolnshire.
It is believed to be due to a rise in the use of online banking, which has made it easier to access services without the need to physically go to your bank.
The four HSBC branches in Greater Lincolnshire to close are:
- Gainsborough – closing May 2, 2023
- Stamford – closing May 16, 2023
- Sleaford – closing June 13, 2023
- Epworth – closing date TBC
HSBC says that use of the bank’s branch network has fallen by 65% over the past five years, with the decline of use for these banks being accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, criticism has been reserved for the closing of in-person banks, particularly in rural areas where people often rely on these branches for their banking services.
HSBC claim that 97.5% of all its banking transactions come from online rather than in-person, signalling a shift in the way people opt to use and access their bank accounts.
However, the Lincoln HSBC branch is in line for a refurbishment next year, one of just a select few sites across the country.
The bank’s plan is to redeploy every colleague internally, working with all colleagues in the impacted branches to understand their situation. Around 100 jobs are expected to lost, though.
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. Not only can we do it anywhere at any time of day or night, many more things can be done at the customers’ convenience and don’t rely on a branch visit.
“Branches will continue to play an important role in day-to-day banking, while providing specialist face-to-face support in moments that matter.
“In addition to our branch network, customers can access services through the Post Office network, our Community Pop-ups and soon-to-come Banking Hubs, alongside Live Chat, social media and through telephone banking.
“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.”