HSBC is to close its branch in Huntingdon, it has been announced

HSBC has announced it will close the Huntingdon branch.

HSBC has announced it will close the Huntingdon branch. - Credit: Huntingdon First

HSBC is closing is branch in Huntingdon, with staff expected to bring down the shutters for the final time on July 30.

The bank, which has traded in the town for many decades, said it had made the "difficult decision" to close after careful evaluation.

Huntingdon's branch in the town centre is one of 82 closing across the country with dates starting in April, although HSBC said the closure dates had not been finally settled.

HSBC said changes in banking patterns caused by the coronavirus pandemic had reinforced existing plans to move services online to become a market-leading digital operation.

Staff at the branch are expected to be redeployed to other banks at local towns within a 15 mile range and HSBC said most of the affected outlets were within a mile of post offices or five miles of one of its other branches.

It said in a statement: "Retaining a sustainable branch network is extremely important to us and we need to ensure it is fit for the future. 

"Therefore, after careful evaluation, we have made the difficult decision to close Huntingdon, High Street branch on July 30, 2021."

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The branch has been in Huntingdon for many years, trading as the Midland Bank, but became HSBC following a takeover of what had been one the "Big Four" bank nearly 20 years ago.

Like the other major banks, HSBC has been closing scores of branches across the country, blaming a drop in customer levels as people move to online banking and the situation has worsened with the coronvirus pandemic.

But the bank stressed the pandemic had only extended plans which were already taking place.

Jackie Uhi, head of network, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised emphasised the need for the changes that we are making.

"It has not pushed us in a different direction but reinforces the things that we were focusing on before and has crystallised our thinking."

She said: "This is a strategic direction that we need to take to have a branch network fit for the future."

HSBC is also shaking up the format of its remaining branches which "best suit customer needs".

Existing HSBC customers will be able to access some banking services at Huntingdon's post office, travel to another branch, such as St Ives, change to online banking or move to another bank.

The Huntingdon branch also has a cash machine which is popular with customers from non-HSBC banks.