HSBC to close Woodley branch this summer

Banking giant HSBC is to close its Woodley branch Picture: Phil Creighton

ANOTHER bank is pulling out of Woodley’s town centre as part of a restructuring operation.

HSBC has said that its Crockhamwell Road branch will shut on Friday, June 18, following on the heels of its near-neighbour Santander which closed in July 2019.

The bank said that after running a pilot scheme, it is ‘evolving’ its branch network by closing 82 branches this year, as customers make more use of online services.

It says that customers can use Post Office branches for day-to-day transaction, or visit branches in Wokingham town or Reading for other services.

The company’s new branch formats are a full-service branch, a cash service branch which can help with issues such as bereavements.

The digital service branches are counterless branches that utilise machines for transactions such as cash and cheques.

And it will also offer pop-up branches later this year.

“Giving more and better options to enable customers to manage their finances, including self-service, has uncovered a latent demand. The direction of travel is really quite clear and this is borne out by the reduction in branch usage and increase in digital interaction that we are seeing first-hand,” said Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s Head of Network.

She added that Covid-19 had emphasised the need for change, but hadn’t pushed the banking giant into this direction.

“Making sure we have a sustainable branch network is essential to us, and decisions to close branches are not taken lightly,” she said.

“By ensuring we have the most suitable branch format in each specific local market that we serve, we will ensure that we are in good shape to meet the challenges ahead.”

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