Bira (British Independent Retailers Association) has said it is ‘disappointed’ to learn that HSBC will be closing 114 of its branches in April 2023.
The association, which works with more than 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, said it was concerned that the major high street bank’s measure will ‘further dampen the footfall to the high street and lessen the support that independent shops would be getting’.
Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre commented: “With this announcement from HSBC, we see another example of large corporations deserting the high street and local communities. The excuse of online banking becoming dominant does not take into account the impact on people and businesses.
“Cash is still used in business, and in the current cost-of-living crisis, we are seeing more cash being used by shoppers. Businesses therefore need banks to help them manage the cash and ensure the businesses meet the needs of customers.
“We also have concerns for people who do not use online banking. If banks are going to close down branches and leave the high street, then we need to see a quicker rollout of the banking hubs so that vital services are retained. I could understand it better if these banks were losing money, but we know that is not the case.”