HSBC to shut branches in Lymington and Ringwood
MORE local high street banks are shutting their doors with HSBC axing its Lymington and Ringwood branches.
The bank broke the news today (Tuesday) that the sites were part of 69 closures around the UK as it "continues to evolve its branch approach".
Lymington's last day will be 4th August, with Ringwood's on 20th September.
They are the latest closures to hit the area, with Barclays, Lloyds, Halifax and Santander all shuttering sites in recent years as customers increasingly use online services.
However, there has been criticism the move is alienating many older people who do not have access to internet banking.
The closest HSBC branch for Lymington customers looking to bank in person is New Milton's Station Road, while the nearest to Ringwood is on Christchurch High Street.
An HSBC spokesperson said: "The decision to reshape the network and invest in a wider package of support and different formats follows an increasing preference for mobile and online banking, which has accelerated since the start of the pandemic.
"Less than 50% of the bank’s customers now actively use its branch network, with the average footfall declining over 50% since 2017, faster than any point in the last decade."
The bank said it will be refurbishing remaining branches in its "key locations" and will offer community pop-ups in libraries and halls, new integrated self-service machines and colleague-assisted digital support.
It will also be providing free tablets for vulnerable customers.
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."
She added: “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.
"This will enable us to invest in locations where our customers are continuing to utilise the branch network, including updating technology and refurbishing branches.”