Elderly will be hardest hit as HSBC and Yorkshire Bank announce branch closures

HSBC is to close its Blackpool branch
HSBC is to close its Blackpool branch
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Elderly customers are being hit the hardest by bank closures on Fylde coast high streets.

That is the warning from one councillor as another branch shutdown was announced.

HSBC is set to shut its branch in Birley Street, Blackpool later this year.

The announcement was made just days after Yorkshire Bank revealed it is to close its branch in Cleveleys.

The branch in Crescent East is to shut in May with customers told they can continue to use services at Abingdon Street in Blackpool, four miles away.

The announcements are the latest in a string by high street banks affecting the Fylde coast.

Last year Natwest announced that branches in Poulton, Fleetwood, Kirkham and Lytham.

HSBC has already revealed it will shut its branch in Clifton Street, Lytham.

And Coun Andrea Kay, who represents Cleveleys is concerned more could follow, leaving those without internet access with lengthy journeys to conduct their business.

The situation in Thornton and Cleveleys, she claims, is made worse by a lack of access to public computers.

She said: “Banks are moving more and more towards this model.

“This is another high street branch closing with customers asked to travel further or go online.

“The elderly are the worst affected by this.

“They might not have access to transport or to the internet.

“With the libraries closing in Cleveleys and Thornton people no longer have access to public computers or the support to help them do their banking online.”

HSBC bosses insist no further branch closures are planned.

Antonio Simoes, Chief Executive of HSBC Bank plc, said: “This marks the end of our branch restructuring programme.

“We now feel we have the right branch network that complements the other ways in which customers now choose to interact with us.

“We will continue to invest for the benefit of our customers as we build HSBC UK, a better bank for our people and customers.”

HSBC will seek to redeploy as many of the people impacted as possible although it is expected the latest round of branch closures may result in up to 180 redundancies.

Yorkshire Bank also expects to make redundancies despite plans to redeploy staff to other branches.