Customers can still rely on us said the HSBC representatives in a meeting with Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones recently to discuss the forthcoming closure of its Porthcawl branch. Mr Jones had asked to meet with HSBC representatives to seek assurances that his constituents would not be left high and dry when the company finally closes its doors at the Porthcawl branch in early September.
Mr Jones was told by HSBC that with customer habits changing and with many customers using branches closest to their place of work, internet banking or mobile facilities, the number of people visiting the Porthcawl branch has been in decline. Over the last four years there has been a 40% reduction in footfall to the branch. HSBC has argued that given the careful analysis of the branch’s commercial viability, it was clear that it is no longer generating the custom necessary to justify its continued operation.
Following the closure, HSBC will automatically transfer the administration of their customers’ accounts to their Bridgend, Dunraven Place branch. Customers will not see any difference to their accounts. There will not be new bank account numbers. It is the administration that is changing not the customer accounts.
Mr Jones heard that HSBC had considered alternatives to its closure of the Porthcawl branch such as branch sharing, mobile vans and other alternatives but these were not viable. HSBC were also keen to stress that the staff who are currently employed at the Porthcawl branch will all be offered re-deployment elsewhere.
Mr Jones said “It is disappointing that HSBC has taken the decision to close the Porthcawl branch. Despite internet and mobile banking facilities available, customers still look to their high street banks such as HSBC to provide both local branches and online banking facilities. Some people still want to be able to pop into their local branch to deal with their banking needs. HSBC have informed me that their branch in Bridgend has longer opening hours and additional staff to deal with enquiries. I also understand that personal current account customers will be able to access their bank account at Post Office branches for cash withdrawals, cash deposits and balance enquiries.”
Mr Jones added “HSBC has also reached an agreement with the Post Office to enable business customers with a debit card to pay in and withdraw cash and check their balance.”