A BRANCH of HSBC bank where only rich Premier customers were able to access counter services is set to close due, in part, to declining branch usage, it has been confirmed.

HSBC's Canford Cliffs branch hit the national headlines in 2007 after the Daily Echo exclusively revealed that only Premier customers would receive a comprehensive face-to-face service from its advisors.

All non-Premier account holders were restricted to using cash machines inside the branch or, for complex advice, referred to advisors at branches in Poole or Westbourne.

Back in 2007 Premier customers were those with either £50,000 in savings, a £200,000 mortgage, or a £100,000 mortgage plus salary in excess of £75,000.

However, in a statement released to the Echo HSBC outlined their latest plans for the controversial branch.

"We never take the decision to close a branch lightly and we understand it is unsettling for the local community," said a bank spokesman.

"The lease on this premises is due to expire shortly, plus with increase in the use of online and telephone banking leading to declining branch usage, we have taken the difficult decision to close the branch."

The spokesman insisted the Premier account customer set-up at the bank had no bearing on the decision to close.

HSBC say they're working with customers who use the branch to help them understand their options, which include using other local branches, and using Canford Cliffs post office to check balances, withdraw and pay in cash and cheques to their HSBC accounts.

The statement concluded: "There are also fee-free cash machines nearby. We are working with our employees at the branch to find them a role in the local area."

The branch will close on November 6, 2015.