HSBC will focus on digital banking, close down 62 branches this year
The Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation or HSBC, one of the leading banking service providers globally, has decided on economic measures as it prepares itself more for digital banking. It is going to make digital banking a priority over the traditional form. An increasing number of customers are taking to the electronic format of banking recently, which has forced the bank to cut down on physical banking. As a result, the London-based bank will close down a number of its branches across the country and focus on the digital mode.
As a part of this, it will close down 62 branches across the UK. With this announcement from the bank, the tally of the branches which the bank is closing this year moves up to 117. The figure for the number of closed branches for the bank over the last two years stands at 340. So far, the bank has closed 625 of its branches.
In the meantime, the bank has reiterated its commitment towards its customer and clients. It will remain strongly dedicated to customer and client needs and make banking through its branches an easy experience. Although the bank will have fewer branches across the UK, it aims smart banking. The branches that will be functional will be more efficient and will be able to serve customers in a better way. The bank intends to provide better services using the digital banking technologies. These branches will be technologically equipped to enable customers perform variety of functions.
With these steps, the bank has ended its restructuring programme, says the bank’s chief executive, Antonio Simoes.
“We now feel we have the right branch network that complements the other ways in which customers now choose to interact with us. We will continue to invest for the benefit of our customers as we build HSBC UK, a better bank for our people and customers.”
Meanwhile, the banking giant is concerned about brexit as well. It has undertaken measures such as moving jobs out of the country to make up for the brexit impact. HSBC chairman Douglas Flint told MPs about the bank’s decision to move 1,000 investment banking jobs to Paris before the end of the Article 50 process.
The bank reported an 86 per cent fall in statutory pre-tax profits in November. The bank took one-off hits, when it disposed its business in Brazil, which set it back $1.7bn.
As Francesca McDonagh, HSBC head of retail banking and wealth management for UK and Europe, adds:
“The decision to close these branches ensures a more sustainable branch network for the future as we continue to invest in our digital platforms and our people. We will have fewer but better branches, with more empowered front line colleagues using a greater range of technology to support all our customers needs.”
“Our priority now is to work with our colleagues, our customers and the communities impacted by today’s announcement. We are contacting customers to explain the decision and help them with alternative ways to bank with us. We will offer customers individual sessions to help explain their options or provide help in setting up telephone, mobile or internet banking.”