Calls to save Yate bank after closure plan announced
BANKING giant HSBC is closing its Yate branch.
The bank in North Walk, in Yate Shopping Centre, will close its shutters for the final time on June 25, with the next nearest branch for customers in Downend, six miles away.
HSBC did not reveal how many jobs would be affected by the closure, and whether staff would be made redundant or redeployed elsewhere within the organisation.
It has told customers that all but one of the 82 branches it intends to close are "within one mile of a Post Office, where customers can carry out day-to-day transactions".
The global financial firm says it is making the closures "to reflect local market trends, customer behaviour and branch usage".
HSBC UK head of network Jackie Uhi said: "We know there will always be a need for face-to-face customer support and the evolution of our branches very much takes that into account.
"In recent years we have introduced more digital options to make our customers’ lives easier – depositing cheques or putting a temporary block on a card, for example – and we know that customers are becoming more comfortable primarily using online and mobile banking to take control of their finances, turning to other channels for very particular interactions.
"Giving more and better options to enable customers to manage their finances, including self-service, has uncovered a latent demand. The direction of travel is really quite clear and this is borne out by the reduction in branch usage and increase in digital interaction that we are seeing first-hand."
A petition to save the branch has been launched by councillors on South Gloucestershire's Liberal Democrat group, who are writing a letter to HSBC's chief executive asking for the decision to be reconsidered.
Yate North ward councillor Ben Nutland said: “This bank is a vital life line for many of our local businesses and elderly residents, some of whom aren’t able to do online banking and would struggle to get to either Thornbury or Bristol if the one in Yate is closed.”
Group leader Claire Young said the closure represented a potential loss of jobs and a "locally accessible banking service".