Closures: HSBC shut 117 outlets across the UK last year
HSBC‘s boss has ruled out further branch closures.
The bank shut 117 outlets across the UK last year, leaving it with 625, but chief executive John Flint said yesterday the cuts are at an end.
He hinted, however, that more jobs could go worldwide as the bank grapples with the rise of the internet.
Setting out HSBC’s priorities for the next three years, Flint insisted there would not be a rethink on branch closures.
‘There should be no suggestion that this is just a pause and we could start again,’ he said.
‘We’ve done a lot of work on this, and we’re confident the number we’ve got is the right number to serve the UK market.’
The announcement will be a relief for HSBC’s 17m UK customers, and is in contrast to closure programmes at rivals.
Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds are closing almost 520 branches between them this year. However, 50-year-old Flint did warn that HSBC’s global operation will have to change as more and more customers move online.
Flint, who took up the job in February, said: ‘The reality is technology is transforming our industry in quite unusual and rapid ways. We have to be alert to that.’
Flint also vowed to expand further in Asia, the lender’s traditional heartland.
He hopes to grow the insurance and wealth management operations in the region to take advantage of millions of middle-class customers.
In Britain, meanwhile, HSBC wants to continue growing its share of the mortgage market with a likely focus on ultra-competitive rates.