HSBC to close Peterlee branch putting jobs at risk

HSBC has announced plans to close its branch in Peterlee, putting jobs at risk.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 2:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 3:56 pm
Almost 50 jobs could be at risk at HSBC across the country, as the bank announced it will close 27 branches this year, including one in Peterlee. PA Photo.

Nearly 50 jobs are at risk at HSBC branches across the country, as the bank revealed plans to close 27 sites this year.

Staff in 10 branches, including Peterlee and which employ 46 people between them, could face losing their jobs under the closures.

However, those working at the other 17 branches earmarked to shut will be moved to other roles at nearby HSBC sites, the bank told the PA news agency.

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It will also invest nearly £34 million in its remaining 594 branches this year, and will refurbish 49 of them.

The announcement comes as customers turn to other forms of banking, making them less reliant on using a branch, the bank said.

HSBC said nine in 10 contacts with customers now happen over the phone, via the internet or on its smartphone app, with the number of customers who use a branch falling by a third in the last five years.

Only one in every 100 cash withdrawals are made in branch at an HSBC.

"Retaining a sustainable branch network is extremely important to us and we need to ensure it is fit for the future. But, the way our customers bank with us has changed significantly over the last five to 10 years, and that change is something we cannot ignore," Stuart Haire, HSBC UK's head of retail banking and wealth management, said.

The first closures will be made in early July, with branches in London, Bristol, Swindon and Leigh-on-Sea set to be axed. The Peterlee branch, which is located in the town’s Yoden Way, is earmarked for closure on July 10.

HSBC customers will still be able to bank in Post Office branches across the country.

Mr Haire added: "Almost every industry is affected by similar behavioural change and needs to work hard to address that."

Earlier this month, HSBC said its global headcount would be reduced by 35,000 over the next three years.

This would include "meaningful" cuts in the UK, where it employs 40,000 people.