OLDER people and the less mobile will suffer most when HSBC closes its Winton branch for good in the summer, it is feared.

The bank announced yesterday that its Wimborne Road branch was among 82 that will shut this year.

The closure in August will be the second loss of a bank in Winton within a year. Barclays shut its Winton branch last October.

Winton East councillor Chris Rigby said he was disappointed at the news.

“We were quite lucky in Winton because we’ve had a few banks on the high street but seeing that one close now is really going to affect the residents who tend to shop on Winton high street rather than going into town,” he said.

HSBC in Winton to close for good this summer

“It will have a knock-on effect for other businesses as well. If people are having to travel to go to the bank, they might take their custom elsewhere.

“I think people who don’t have mobile banking are the ones who are going to suffer – so it will be the older population and the less mobile population who are going to have to drag themselves across town to do their banking.”

The 82 HSBC sites chosen for the axe will start shutting their doors permanently from April 23.

HSBC said the Covid-19 pandemic had seen a greater shift to online banking, although it said the closures were not only due to the Covid restrictions.

Staff in branches facing closure were expected to be redeployed to other branches and sites within 15 miles of their homes, the bank said.

Barclays branches in Boscombe and Winton to close

HSBC said the closures were part of plans to become a market-leading digital bank and an overhaul of how remaining branches will operate.

Of the 82 sites closing, 81 are within a mile of a Post Office, two thirds are within five miles of another HSBC branch and nine in 10 are within 10 miles, the bank added.

Bosses said the changes would see four distinct branch formats that “best suit customer needs, based on detailed analysis of customer behaviour”.

These include full service branches, cash service branches for customers who need greater access to cash, counterless branches with self-services only and pop-up branches.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s head of network, said: “Making sure we have a sustainable branch network is essential to us, and decisions to close branches are not taken lightly.

“By ensuring we have the most suitable branch format in each specific local market that we serve, we will ensure that we are in good shape to meet the challenges ahead.”

Nine in 10 of all customers contact the bank over the phone, internet or smartphone and staff talk with more than 100,000 customers a week on social media.