HSBC will close another 27 UK branches this year in response to a dramatic fall off in customer visits in the face of digital alternatives.
The closures will see HSBC's UK branch network reduced to 594 - still the largest in the country. Around 50 jobs are at risk.
Over the past five years, HSBC says that the number of customers using its branches has fallen by a third. Some nine in ten customers’ contact with the bank is now completed via the phone, internet or mobile phone and 99% of cash withdrawals are made at an ATM.
In addition, social media has emerged as a popular tool for customers, with a five-fold increase in cases being handled this way over the last two years.
Despite the closures, HSBC says it is still committed to its branch network, earmarking £34 million to refurbish 49 sites, installing the latest technology.
Stuart Haire, head, retail banking and wealth management, UK, HSBC, says: “Retaining a sustainable branch network is extremely important to us and we need to ensure it is fit for the future. But, the way our customers bank with us has changed significantly over the last five to ten years, and that change is something we cannot ignore."
Earlier this month, the firm outlined plans to slash 35,000 jobs as part of a major overhaul of its business after seeing profits plunge by a third in 2019.