Bank closure is ‘big blow’

The HSBC on Main Street in Bulwell
The HSBC on Main Street in Bulwell

The closure of the HSBC bank in Bulwell will be a ‘big blow for the town’, claims a leading councillor.

The branch at 62 Main Street is due to close from 3.30pm on January 22 next year, leaving customers with no option but to travel into Nottingham to the nearest branch.

Councillor Jackie Morris, mayor of Nottingham, says the closure will affect older people who are used to face-to-face transactions, as well as those who do not have, or cannot afford, internet access.

She said: “It is going to be a big blow for Bulwell - everybody is talking about it. It is a bit of an institution.

“It is very unstable for older people. They want to pay their bills in person.

“I have a 90-year-old mother-in-law who is so stressed out it’s not true. She has banked there for the last 55 years.

“Banks assume that everyone is online - and they push you towards that.

“But such a big chunk of the community either can’t afford the internet or don’t have the know-how. It is a sad day but it is a trend.”

The nearest HSBC cash machine is at 58 Market Street in Hucknall.

An HSBC spokesman said: “We never take the decision to close a branch lightly, and we understand it’s unsettling for the local community.

“Unfortunately, with an increase in the use of online and telephone banking over the past few years use of the Bulwell branch has fallen significantly, and we’ve taken the difficult decision to close it on 22 January.

“We are working with customers who use the branch to help them understand their options, which include being able to use the local post office to check their balance and withdraw and pay in cash and cheques to their personal HSBC account.

“There are also a number of fee-free cash machines in the local area.”

HSBC has already shut 46 branches this year, following the 47 it shut in 2014. Figures from the Campaign for Community Banking show that over the past ten years HSBC has accounted for nearly 20 per cent of all branch closures.

In 2012 HSBC dropped its branding as the ‘World’s Local Bank’. The bank announced thousands of job cuts in June as part of cost-cutting measures to improve returns to shareholders.