HSBC has written to Shropshire Council to explain its decision to close its branch on Ludlow’s Bullring.
Dear Councillor Pate
I am writing to let you know that HSBC has today announced the planned closure of 62 of its UK branches. As part of this we have taken the difficult decision to close the HSBC branch in Ludlow, which is located within your local authority, on Friday 19 May 2017.
The move to close the branches announced today is in response to a significant change in the way customers are banking, HSBC’s continued investment in digital banking, and our objective to achieve a sustainable branch network in the long-term.
Over the past five years, the number of customers using HSBC branches has fallen by almost 40%. 93% of customers’ contact with the bank is now completed via the telephone, internet or smartphone and 97% of cash withdrawals are made via an ATM. The decision to close branches will ensure a more sustainable branch network for the future as we continue to invest in our digital platforms and our people.
We have chosen to announce all our remaining planned closures for 2017 today in order to be fully transparent to our staff, customers and the communities we serve.
By the end of 2017, HSBC will have 625 branches in the UK. We have no intention to close any further branches in 2017 and this marks the end of our branch restructuring programme.
We have informed our colleagues at the branch of the decision to close the branch and, wherever possible, we will work with them to find them alternative opportunities with us. Posters will be displayed in the branch giving details of the closure, and we will be writing to each of our customers of Ludlow branch on Monday 20 February 2017, providing them with more information about the closure and the alternative banking services available to them.
Following the closure, we will automatically transfer the administration of our customers’ accounts to our Leominster branch which is around 11 miles away. In addition, first direct personal current account customers can access their bank account at Post Office branches for cash withdrawals, cash deposits, cheque deposits and balance enquiries. We have also reached an agreement with the Post Office to enable business customers with a debit card to pay in and withdraw cash and check their balance, additionally they can deposit cheques using a credit slip and HSBC envelope. The nearest Post Office is located at 9 Tower Street, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1 RL which is within walking distance.
Our main priority is ensuring that we are aware of any difficulties faced by our customers. With this in mind, our branch staff are available to talk through the many alternative ways of banking and will take steps to proactively contact customers who may have problems accessing alternative banking facilities. In these cases we can offer one-to-one appointments providing advice and practical solutions, including training on telephone and internet banking where appropriate. If any cases of difficulty are raised with you, I would be grateful if you could bring them to my attention so that we can do our utmost to arrange for appropriate assistance.
I hope that this helps to explain this decision and sets out how HSBC will provide assistance to our customers affected by the closure. If you would like to discuss any of the points raised above, please do not hesitate to contact Mark Fearn, Area Director, at email@example.com or on 07920 417530. If you would prefer to discuss these issues during a meeting, Mark would be more than happy to do so.
Head of Customer Service and Distribution, UK Retail Banking and Wealth Management