HSBC branches in three Suffolk towns set to close

EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY DECEMBER 10 Customers use cash machines at a branch of HSBC in Tooting Broa

HSBC has announced it will close three of its Suffolk stores later this year - Credit: PA

Banking giant HSBC has announced that it will close down three of its Suffolk branches later this year. 

Branches in Stowmarket and Woodbridge are set to close down in August this year, and the Newmarket branch will close down in September.

It comes as the banking company announced it will be closing 69 stores across the UK, affecting about 400 workers.

The decision comes after the banking firm has seen more people use its online and mobile banking apps since the start of the Covid pandemic which has meant the average footfall has declined over 50% since 2017 – faster than any point in the last decade. 

The closures are part of a "transformation" into how branches operate within individual communities. 

The changes announced by HSBC mean that the average distance to a branch for in-person contact will be four miles for customers.

Caroline Page, Suffolk county councillor for Woodbridge, said the decision to close the branch in her town is "short sighted" as the nearest HSBC branch for residents will be in Saxmundham. 

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She added: "I'm really depressed at the number of banks that have now closed within Woodbridge.

"A lot of people feel like they have a personal link with their bank, and of course if you are elderly it is not particularly easy to get to Saxmundham by public transport.

Cllr Caroline Page next to the new pods Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Councillor Caroline Page has spoken out about the decision to close the HSBC branch in Woodbridge - Credit: Archant

"It is always a loss when something closes, but this is a significant loss of amenity which is what we are most concerned about and its effect on the residents.

"Woodbridge has an older demographic so I think it will hit them particularly hard."  

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."