Shock as Halesworth bank branch set to close

HSBC bank sign.

HSBC bank sign. - Credit: PA

Business leaders and personal customers in the Halesworth area have been shocked as the town's HSBC bank is to close.

The bank in the town's Thoroughfare will close its doors for the last time on Friday, April 24.

Sally Runnacles, chair of Halesworth Business Connections, said: 'Halesworth Business Connections is disappointed that HSBC has decided to close the Halesworth branch as no doubt a lot of local traders and some of our members actively use the branch for business purposes.

'The closure of the HSBC branch will have a detrimental impact on the footfall to the Halesworth Thoroughfare and Market Place.

'It will reduce the number of people coming into the town who will now be forced to go to either Beccles or Saxmundham if they wish to continue with HSBC which will, no doubt, subsequently affect the trade of local businesses.'

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HSBC admitted it was sad to close the branch and said it was a difficult decision to make.

'Our branches are a very important way for our customers to bank with us, especially for their more complex financial needs, so we have spent over £100 million upgrading and improving our network in recent years.

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'However, our customers' habits are changing - they are increasingly using the convenience of internet, smart phone or telephone banking for their day to day needs,' said a spokesman for HSBC.

In common with other high street banks, footfall in the branches has fallen dramatically and is accelerating.

'We have seen a 30pc reduction in customer footfall over the last four years. It is never a decision we take lightly, but on occasions this has meant we have needed to close a branch and our Halesworth branch is a case in point.

'Decisions like this are never easy, but we worked with the small number of customers who use the branch to help them reorganise their finances ahead of the closure on April 24,' said the spokesman.

The bank's personal customers have access to their accounts, to withdraw and pay in cash, at any UK post office and will be able to use the Halesworth post office.

Customers will also be able to use the other banking facilities in the town, including a number of fee free ATMs within the local area.

Members of HSBC staff at Halesworth will transfer to other HSBC branches in the area.

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