Bank prepares to close its branch permanently

Bank prepares to close its branch permanently

HSBC is preparing to close its branch in Cleckheaton on July 2, it has been revealed.

In January, the bank announced it would close 82 branches across the country. Sites started shutting their doors permanently from last month, with approximately three closing each week until the end of September.

At the time HSBC said the Covid-19 pandemic had seen a greater shift to online banking although insisted the closures were not entirely related to the lockdowns and Covid-related restrictions.

Two applications have now been lodged with Kirklees Council planners in relation tot he Grade II listed building, signalling the company’s preparations to vacate the historic building.

There is a planning application and a listed building application to remove all external signage, the removal of the cash machine and boarding up the hole with a stainless steel plate, and removing all furniture, equipment and branding from inside the building too.

Documents submitted as part of the plans states that the building dates back to 1890 and was by William Henry Howorth of Cleckheaton.

It adds: “The architectural and historical interest of this building is significant, due to its architectural merit. The site is a significant asset to the surrounding area as it holds a prominent presence upon Bradford Road.”

In a report into the impact of the closure, HSBC outlines the closure date of July 2, and states: “We continually review our branch network to ensure our branches are in the right locations which reflect the long-term changes in the way customers choose to bank with us.

“Retaining a sustainable branch network is extremely important to us and we need to ensure it is fit for the future.

“Therefore, after careful evaluation, we have made the difficult decision to close Cleckheaton, Bradford Road branch on 02 July 2021.”

The report adds that the nearest alternative HSBC branch will be Dewsbury, 4.5 miles away by car, or 30 minutes by bus.

It adds that 91 per cent of customers at the Cleckheaton branch are registered for online or telephone banking, and that 83 per cent of those are active users.

A total of 19 per cent of customers who use this branch are also using the Post Office. But 23 per cent of customers rely on branch only banking and no other methods.

Upon announcing the closures in January, 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.

Staff are expected to be redeployed to other sites within 15 miles of their homes