Following on from the original article we featured in March issue – we wanted to alert our readers to the fact that the Town has already lost one major Bank, Natwest, on the premise of lack of foot fall. Now HSBC says it it technology that is causing the closure of a branch that is very well used and we here at the Stn believe that this branch is needed in the town to support our local shops and businesses as it is not easy to pay cash or cheques in through a computer! This HSBC branch brings lots of people into the Town from surrounding villages and if/when it closes our high street is going to lose trade, which could lead to the loss of those businesses. If you agree that we should try and stop this closure please sign one of the petitions that are available either on-line or in some shops and cafes in the Town!
Here is the link to the on-line petition: https://www.change.org/p/hsbc-stop-the-closure-of-hsbc-syston-branch-leicestershire If you haven’t already signed then please do so.
There are also paper versions in the following outlets in Syston:
The Continental Cafe
The Body Store
We would like to hear from you our readers on this subject. Please contact us via email: [email protected] or write to us at the usual address, see contact us tab at top of the site.
As all our readers, customers and users of the HSBC branch in Syston will know, the bank has decided to close this very well used branch on 9th June 2017. One of the reasons being that 90% of their interactions is done through their digital channels as stated by Francesca McDonagh, HSBC’s head of retail banking and wealth management for UK and Europe, in a press release issued on 24th January 2017.
She went on to say: “The way our customers bank with us is changing.More customers are using mobile and internet banking than ever before, innovation such as Touch and Voice ID has proved extremely popular, and fewer people are using branches. The decision to close these branches ensures a more sustainable branch network for the future as we continue to invest in our digital platforms and our people.
We will have fewer but better branches, with more empowered front line colleagues using a greater range of technology to support all our customers’ needs.
Our priority now is to work with our colleagues, our customers and the communities impacted by the announcement.
We are contacting customers to explain the decision and help them with alternative ways to bank with us.
We will offer customers individual sessions to help explain their options or provide help in setting up telephone, mobile or internet banking.”
However, what she didn’t say was how anyone can pay in cash or cheques via a computer?
Syston is a growing town and there is a lot of anger about this decision, with many moving from Natwest to HSBC because they wanted to use the counter services here in Syston!
Many customers have written to the company to complain and one of our readers has set up an online petition through change.org – You can find the link on our facebook page.
However, to enable everyone who uses the branch to have their say, we are working with our local MP Edward Argar and will be out in Syston during the coming weeks collecting signatures on a paper petition, with it also being placed in as many outlets in Syston as possible. We here at the Stn recognise the importance of this branch to the welfare of our town. Many people as well as shops, cafés, charities, churches and other groups in our area use this branch to pay in cash and cheques on a daily basis.
One of the alternative ways to continue to bank with HSBC is to use the Post Office as stated in the press release from HSBC by Antonio Simoes, Chief Executive of HSBC Bank plc, who said: “All branches will close in line with the BBA Access to Banking Protocol. In order to best support customers, HSBC is putting a number of measures in place to help customers, and already has a partnership with the Post Office so customers can continue to carry out their day to day banking in all 11,600 Post Office locations. 93% of people in the UK live within one mile of a Post Office and 99% within three miles.”
Our Post Office already provides this service and is able to help individuals and businesses in paying in cash and cheques to any bank with the customers debit card.
However, there is a problem for those organisations and businesses who do not have a debit card account for whatever reason. They will have to travel to the nearest branch or close their account with HSBC and move to a bank that has a branch in Syston.
We contacted HSBC about this and they have said that they will issue customers with a debit card to enable them to pay in cash at the post office, and application forms should be available at Syston.
If this isn’t possible, the nearest branch to Syston is 160 Belgrave Road, Leicester, some five miles away! As anyone who lives locally will know, there is no car parking near that branch and if you are using public transport there is an additional cost of time and money.
For businesses in the town this is totally unacceptable as their only option is to travel either six miles into Gallowtree gate, 10 miles to Loughborough or 10 miles to Melton Mowbray, again incurring additional costs in getting to these branches. There is also another cost to businesses in that it will be taking them away from their business in order to pay cash and cheques into the branch. This doesn’t show HSBC’s support for our local economy.
A more concerning aspect to this closure is that this branch serves the wider population of the villages around Syston and brings shoppers into the town to use the branch, some of whom then stay and shop – This will be lost when this branch closes! That cannot be good for the economic welfare of this Town.
We at the Stn do not want to see our Town Centre going the same way as many others around the County and Country.
As well as the loss of the counter services, the two cash machines, recently updated, based at the branch, will go, these are used 24/7.
What will happen to the building which has been a bank for many years? Originally, it was Midland Bank and some customers have been with the branch since that time.
So please support the petitions, there is no guarantee that HSBC will change its mind, but we need to have our voices heard!
Finally, just before going to press we have heard that HSBC announced that it’s profits had fallen by 60%! Could this be the real reason for the closures?