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Councillors to hold talks with HSBC regional boss over Chase Terrace bank closure plan

Councillors are to hold talks with HSBC’s regional boss in a bid to prevent the bank’s branch in the town from being closed.

Plans have been unveiled to shut a number of sites across the country, including one at Chase Terrace.

But Cllr Sue Woodward said the bank had underestimated the impact such a move would have on both customers and the community.

The Labour county councillor for Burntwood North said: “The company’s area director was unaware of the numbers of new houses being built in the town and the new businesses coming on stream. They just hadn’t looked at the local picture.

“I really hope we can get them to look again at the closure proposal. At the very least, they need to ensure that their customers – all of them, whether they use computers or not – are properly served.

“And it’s not just Burntwood residents that are affected. I’ve had calls from further afield to say that they use the Chase Terrace Branch. That brings people to our shopping centre and supports the local shops.

“They just haven’t thought through what the impacts on our town and the wider locality will be.”

The closure plans come after
Francesca McDonagh, HSBC’s head of retail banking, said fewer of its customers were now using traditional branches.

“More than 90% of our interactions with customers are now through our digital channels, an increase of 80% from last year,” she said.

But

Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Woodward said the company needed to liaise with communities and customers further before deciding on closures.

“I have been a customer of HSBC and its predecessor from when I first opened a bank account as a teenager,” she said. “The staff at the branch are excellent and we don’t want to lose them without a fight.

“I only found out about the closure through the media. They didn’t even let Lichfield District Council know and, instead, sent the information to Cannock Chase Council. This just adds insult to injury.”

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4 Comments

  1. Diane Evans

    26th January, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I totally support Sue Woodward in her effort to retain the HSBC in Burntwood. It would be a travesty for the customers and for Sankeys Corner if it closes, especially as we are hoping to extend the shopping experience, through the Town Deal, soon. Many customers, particularly the elderly, cannot, or do not want to use internet banking. Face to face services are so important to them.
    I am also disappointed that it was announced without consultation to the public or Councils.

  2. Agitatorofpeople

    30th January, 2017 at 9:48 am

    HSBC have pulled out because Sankeys Corner is dying on its arse! what about the other small businesses that have closed down over the years, I don’t see councillors enraged when a newsagent or a sweet shop closes.

    “Hope” for the “Town Deal” there are two Hopes and ones called Bob with this crowd.

  3. Sue Woodward

    31st January, 2017 at 10:56 am

    There’s a limit to what councillors can do in relation to private companies, of course, but we can lobby on behalf of the communities we represent (e.g. With the recent proposed closure of One Stop at Ryecroft – and that worked). We can sit back and do nothing, or we can try. I prefer the latter though Agitatorofpeople seems to endorse the former. Rather than undermining local efforts, we would all be better served if he did something positive rather than undermine those who do.

  4. Rob

    31st January, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Where’s this “shopping centre” that the bank allegedly attracts customers to?
    Must be well camouflaged.