HSBC will eliminate 82 branches in the UK and cut services in others

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC said on Tuesday it planned to cut 82 branches in Britain this year after a drop in visits to its retail network and an increase in digital banking.

The lender said it would remain with 511 branches in the UK after closing, with many of the remaining branches set to be refurbished and some providing fewer services.

The COVID-19 pandemic dented banks’ finances, putting pressure on lenders to cut costs, while more customers chose to bank online as people were encouraged to stay home to combat the spread of the virus.

HSBC said it started trying out different branch formats and decided to provide fewer full-service branches concentrated in large cities and towns, while others provide cash or self-service technology.

The bank said mobile “pop-up” branches will also be launched later this year.

“The direction of the journey is really quite clear and this is it

confirmed by the reduction in branch usage and the increase in digital interaction that we are seeing firsthand, “said Jackie Uhi, Network Manager at HSBC UK.

Reporting by Iain Withers, editing by Lawrence White