Campaign launched to save Black Country bank from closure

A campaign has been launched to stop the closure of a Black Country bank.

HSBC has announced the closure of 82 branches, including the one in Wednesbury
HSBC has announced the closure of 82 branches, including the one in Wednesbury

HSBC has announced plans to close its branch on Market Place, Wednesbury as it wields the axe on 82 branches nationwide.

West Bromwich West MP Shaun Bailey has launched a petition calling on HSBC to reconsider its position – saying it was "not acceptable" to expect customers to travel miles away to another branch for services.

He also warned that shutting down the bank would disproportionately impact elderly and disabled people, as well as those with no access to internet banking.

HSBC has said that following the branch closure on May 7, all customer accounts will be automatically transferred to the West Bromwich High Street branch, which is 2.5 miles away.

Conservative MP Mr Bailey has written to Stuart Haire, HSBC’s Head of Wealth and Personal Banking, to highlight his concerns.

He said: "It is not acceptable that my constituents will have to travel to West Bromwich to access their banking services. We need services here in Wednesbury.

"I am also concerned for residents who are elderly, disabled or digitally excluded. They are more than likely going to be disproportionally affected compared with others."

West Bromwich West MP Shaun Bailey has launched the campaign

The round of closures runs from April to September, and also includes Birmingham's Erdington branch, which will close its doors on July 9.

It comes after HSBC said more customers were using online banking instead of branches, with the number of customers falling by a third in the last five years.

Bosses also said the coronavirus pandemic had "emphasised the need" for changes.

The bank said it aims to redeploy the vast majority of staff to nearby branches and does not expect any redundancies from the move.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK's head of network, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the need for the changes that we are making.

"It hasn't pushed us in a different direction but reinforces the things that we were focusing on before and has crystallised our thinking.

"This is a strategic direction that we need to take to have a branch network fit for the future."

Visit www.shaunbailey.org.uk to sign the petition.

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