Sunderland's branch of HSBC to close its counter as it moves to a 'digital service'
A Sunderland bank is to scrap its counter service – but has issued reassurances the branch has a future in the city.
HSBC has confirmed changes at its Market Square bank, meaning customers will no longer be able to carry out transactions via a counter team.
It has said no jobs will be lost as part of the move and while other branches have closed, the new approach will help secure the Wearside bank’s future, with a date for the change yet to be confirmed to customers.
The end of the service is part of its plan to ensure its business is sustainable, with its banks being split into four forms, a full service, a cash service, a digital service and pop-up.
Jo Wade, its Local Director for the area, said: "We are creating four distinct branch formats, designed to provide local areas with the banking facilities that best suit local customer needs, and we are pleased to say our Sunderland branch is being retained and we are excited that it will become a Digital Service Branch.
"Where we are creating a Digital Service Branch, the biggest change that customers will see will be the removal of a counter.
“Virtually all other services the branch previously offered will be maintained, it might just be done in a different way, for example, ‘traditional’ cash and cheque transactions will be done using self-service technology.
"This is an evolution in our branches, and there will need to be a certain evolution in how our customers bank.
“We are very conscious that there will be some customers who are less confident or comfortable using self-service options, and we would like to assure them that we will not be leaving any of our customers high and dry.
"We are contacting vulnerable customers by phone to discuss the forthcoming change and will be supporting them alternative ways to do their banking.
"Our branch staff will also be on hand to help in the banking hall rather than behind a screen, to explain and also to educate customers on how to complete their transaction.”
She added the branch will have a presentation space set aside for customer seminars, which could host talks on how to avoid becoming the victim of fraud.
HSBC says customers can complete day-to-day transactions at Post Offices.