HSBC 114 bank closures will come as a blow to elderly and small businesses customers and exacerbate access to cash dilemma.
Commenting, Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor, says: “The announced closure of 114 HSBC bank branches from April next year will come as a blow to customers who rely on them – from small business customers looking to deposit their cash takings, to elderly customers who haven’t transitioned to online banking or simply prefer a human touch when it comes to personal banking. It is also bad news for those with mobility issues and those who live in remote areas should the require face-to-face banking.
“There is also a knock-on effect when it comes to access to cash. Finding an ATM to withdraw cash is a palaver for many as bank branches have been dropping like flies amid the shift to online and mobile banking, while cashpoints are few and far between in some areas. This can be infuriating for those dependent on cash, forcing many to travel unreasonable distances to pay in or take out cash.
“The transition towards digital banking brings many opportunities for individuals and businesses, but it is important to maintain face-to-face banking to cater for the large number of people who use it. The government and the Financial Conduct Authority announced earlier in the year that it will set out its expectations for a reasonable distance for people to travel when depositing and withdrawing cash in due course. This is going to be tricky to determine, but both must consider a wide range of factors such accommodating for those with mobility and transport issues.”