HSBC confirms plans to close East Wittering branch

Business
Business

AN EAST WITTERING bank is set to shut its doors before Christmas.

HSBC confirmed to the Observer this morning (September 29) it planned to close its branch on the High Street.

The bank cited falling footfall as the reason for the impending closure. It said the staff who worked there would all continue working in other branches.

Here is the statement in full from HSBC:

“Our branches are a very important way for our customers to bank with us, especially for their more complex financial needs, so we have spent over £100m upgrading and improving our network in recent years. However, our customers’ habits are changing – they are increasingly using the convenience of internet, smart phone or telephone banking for their day-to-day needs.

“In common with other high street banks, footfall in our branches has fallen dramatically and is accelerating. We have seen a 30-per-cent reduction in customer footfall over the last four years. It is never a decision we take lightly, but on occasions this has meant we have needed to close a branch and our East Wittering branch is a case in point.

“Decisions like this are never easy, but we worked with the small number of customers who use the branch to help them reorganise their finances ahead of the closure on December 12, 2014. All our personal customers have access to their accounts, to withdraw and pay in cash, at any UK post office and all residents of East Wittering will continue to have access to other banking facilities and ‘fee free’ ATMs in the town. The members of staff who man the branch will transfer to other HSBC branches in the area.”

An online petition has been set up calling for the bank to remain open.

The petition claims the elderly residents in the area now face an hour-long round trip to visit the bank.

The petition can be found at www.change.org/p/hsbc-keep-the-east-wittering-branch-of-hsbc-open

What do you think about this? Will it affect your banking habits or do you do most of yours online?

Call 01243 531313 or email chris.shimwell@chiobserver.co.uk with your views.