Sudbury councillors have spoken of their sadness over the loss of HSBC after the banking giant confirmed that they would be closing two Suffolk branches next year.

The Sudbury and Beccles banks are among the 114 branches across the UK that will be shut from next spring in the face of declining footfall.

Sudbury mayor Ellen Murphy said that the closure of HSBC would be "a very sad day" for Sudbury. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Ellen Murphy is the mayor of Sudbury.Ellen Murphy is the mayor of Sudbury. (Image: Sarah Lucy Brown, Newsquest)

"It's sad news for both the employees and the customers," she said.

"There are so many places closing and people are losing their jobs - particularly specialised roles."

Ms Murphy highlighted that, although online banking is still available, many people of the older generation may not have access to computers.

She added: "It's definitely going to cause a problem.

"Surely customers will switch to the banks that they are still able to get to."

Philip Faircloth-Mutton is the Suffolk county councillor for Sudbury East and Waldingfield.

East Anglian Daily Times: Philip Faircloth-Mutton is the Suffolk county councillor for Sudbury East and Waldingfield.Philip Faircloth-Mutton is the Suffolk county councillor for Sudbury East and Waldingfield. (Image: Suffolk County Council)

He said: "I think the availability of our banks is certainly the magic ingredient for our market town."

"Easy access to banks allows people to spend in support of our local businesses."

Mr Faircloth-Mutton believes Sudbury is in a strong position because it has almost every bank physically placed on the high street.

He added: "Last year, I went round all the banks and asked them why they believe they have remained open here in comparison to places like Stowmarket.

"We have a very rare thing in that we have free parking available, so lots of people come to Sudbury because they don't want to pay money to access money."

Mr Faircloth-Mutton pointed out another vital element to consider was that a high percentage of Sudbury's population is self-employed.

"Yes, you can do online banking from the comfort of your own home, but some businesses need to pay in physical cash and access professional services in-person", he said.

"It's a great shame that HSBC will be closing next year, but I'd like to call upon other banks in Sudbury to continue supporting our town."

When the closures were announced, 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."