Alnwick bank to close in the summer

Alnwick's HSBC branch is to close in the summer.
Alnwick's HSBC branch is to close in the summer.

An Alnwick bank will close in the summer, it has been announced today.

The town’s HSBC branch, on Bondgate Within, will shut on Friday, June 16, 2017.

The company says the planned closure reflects a change in the way local customers are banking, HSBC’s continued investment in digital banking and its objective to achieve a sustainable branch network for the long-term.

The decision to close the Alnwick site is part of a wider HSBC announcement to shut 62 branches, including in Consett and Team Valley, by the end of 2017.

HSBC says it has no intention to close any further branches in 2017 and this marks the end of its branch restructuring programme.

Francesca McDonagh, head of retail banking and wealth management for UK and Europe, said: “The way our customers bank with us is changing.

“More customers are using mobile and internet banking than ever before, innovation such as Touch and Voice ID has proved extremely popular and fewer people are using branches.

“More than 90 per cent of our interactions with customers are now through our digital channels – an increase from 80 per cent last year.

“The decision to close these branches ensures a more sustainable branch network for the future as we continue to invest in our digital platforms and our people. We will have fewer but better branches, with more empowered front-line colleagues using a greater range of technology to support all our customers’ needs.

“Our priority now is to work with our colleagues, our customers and the communities impacted by today’s announcement.

“We are contacting customers to explain the decision and help them with alternative ways to bank with us. We will offer customers individual sessions to help explain their options or provide help in setting up telephone, mobile or internet banking.”

Over the past five years, the number of customers using HSBC branches has fallen by almost 40 per cent and 93 per cent of customers’ contact with the bank is now completed via the telephone, internet or smartphone and 97 per cent of cash withdrawals are made via an ATM.

All branches will close in line with the BBA Access to Banking Protocol. In order to best support customers, HSBC is putting a number of measures in place to help and already has a partnership with the Post Office so customers can continue to carry out their day-to-day banking in all 11,600 Post Office locations.