MP demands answers over HSBC bank closure in North Walsham

Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A decision to close an HSBC bank branch in North Walsham has been described as a 'real blow' by the town's MP.

The company has announced it will be shutting the outlet in November.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb has raised concerns about the move made public last week.

He said: 'Losing HSBC from North Walsham would be a real blow. Hard on the heels of bank closures in Stalham I am really worried that banks are not taking the needs of communities in rural Norfolk into account when they make these decisions. We need a full explanation of how they reached this decision.'

Mr Lamb has written to the bank's chief executive Antonio Simoes and the government's 'Minister for High Streets' Marcus Jones about the issue.

The company blamed a reduction in business at the Market Place branch for the decision and said it would be working to address the concerns of customers and staff.

An HSBC spokesman said: 'We continually review our branch network to make sure our branches are in the right locations for our customers and we have a sustainable network for the future.

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'Over the past five years, we have seen an overall reduction in footfall at our branches of more than 40 per cent, and sometimes we have to make the difficult decision to close branches.

'These are not decisions we take lightly and we work closely with those impacted, including customers and staff, to help them understand their options.'

The branch is due to close on November 25. Customers will be able to use the town's Post Office on New Road for banking or the nearest HSBC branch in Cromer.

Stalham lost its final two bank branches when Nat West and Barclays closed last year. HSBC shut its outlet in Reepham in September leaving the town without a bank.