HSBC cuts branch opening hours as it makes Covid timetable permanent - here's what it means for you
HSBC has today (1 June) made its temporary Covid-19 opening hours permanent across its UK branch network. The move means a cut to hours at 122 branches based on their pre-Covid levels, with 26 of these outlets seeing opening hours fall by more than 30%. However, 148 branches will get a 30-minute boost to opening times.
The banking group, which has 441 branches across the UK, blames the change on a "significant reduction in footfall" and a switch to customers more frequently using digital services and branch alternatives, such as the Post Office.
HSBC adds that no further branches will close at this stage. The banking group had already announced plans to close 69 branches across the UK between July and October this year.
The move follows a slew of branch closures announced by other banking providers, as well as the reduction of opening hours at hundreds of Santander UK branches from 18 July.
If you're unhappy about the changes to opening hours and are thinking of switching to a different bank, see our Best Bank Accounts guide for the top alternatives - though bear in mind other banks may too cut hours.
HSBC's opening hours from 1 June
Here's what HSBC's permanent opening hours will look like from 1 June. To check your local branch's hours, use HSBC's branch finder tool.
- 172 branches will open from 9.30am to 3.30pm on weekdays and will close on weekends. These are "cash service branches" designed to support local communities with a greater need for access to cash, alongside offering some over-the-counter services and the ability to deal with more complex issues, such as bereavement and Power of Attorney.
- 163 branches will open from 9.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays and from 9.30am to 13:30pm on Saturdays. These are a mixture of "digital service" and "full service" branches. Digital service branches are counterless branches providing cash and cheque transactions using self-service technology. Full service branches offer a full range of service and are predominantly based within large cities and towns.
- 105 branches will open from 9.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays and will close on weekends. These are a mixture of digital service and full service branches.
- One branch - Gerrard Street in London - will open from 9.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays, from 9.30am to 13:30pm on Saturdays, and from 11.30am to 3pm on Sundays. This is a full service branch.
Pre-covid, HSBC said it had over a dozen different sets of opening times based on location, with some larger and busier branches open earlier and later and at the weekend. Here's what the changes mean in full:
- 148 cash service branches will see a 30-minute increase in opening hours.
- 96 full service branches will see a 60-minute decrease in opening hours.
- 24 cash service branches will see a 30% decrease in opening hours.
- Two digital service branches will see a 30% decrease in opening hours.
- Hours at 171 digital service branches will remain the same.
HSBC added that it is writing to customers in 26 of its branches where hours have been cut by more than 30% - see below for the full list.
Alternative ways to bank face-to-face with HSBC
Here are some alternative ways to access face-to-face HSBC banking services if you can't get to your local branch during opening hours:
Visit a 'pop up' HSBC branch
HSBC UK runs pop up branches to help customers in local communities and these can run outside of regular hours - for example, from 8am or on Saturdays. See the HSBC website for a full list of where upcoming pop ups will be held.
At these pop ups you can be given information on products and education on digital banking and fraud, for example. If you have online banking set-up and bring ID you can also get help with the following:
- Make payments up to £25,000 to new or existing beneficiaries within the UK.
- Make an international payment.
- Create, amend or delete standing orders.
- View or cancel direct debits.
- View statements.
- Report lost, stolen or damaged cards.
- Deposit a cheque up to £500.
You can access some HSBC services via the Post Office
HSBC customers can access certain services from any of the Post Office's 11,500 branches. Use the Post Office's branch finder tool to locate your nearest. Services available include the following:
- Cash/cheque deposits.
- Check your balance.
- Withdraw money.
If you need branch access and don't have alternative services nearby, consider switching
If you no longer want to stay with HSBC (or you don't have alternatives close by), you might want to consider switching to a bank that has local branches with opening hours that work for you nearby. Banks with branches that currently have switching incentives include the following - see our Best Bank Accounts guide for the full list of banks offering switching incentives:
- Lloyds Bank - get up to £125 for switching. Club Lloyds is offering existing customers £125. You also get to choose one of these four perks each year: six cinema tickets, 12 digital movie rentals, a Gourmet Society membership, or an annual magazine subscription. You must pay in £1,500+ a month or pay a £3 monthly fee.
- Nationwide - get up to £125 for switching. In addition to the free cash, you get 2% fixed interest on up to £1,500 and many get a 0% overdraft – both last for the first 12 months. There's no minimum pay-in but you will need to set-up at least two direct debits.
But bear in mind there's no guarantee that these branches won't be cut too. Lloyds Banking Group, for example, has announced the closure of 136 branches already this year. Nationwide on the other hand has pledged not to leave any town or city in which it is based without a branch until at least 2024 - though it says exceptions will apply, and this doesn't extend to outlets that aren't in towns or cities.
HSBC will cut opening hours by more than 30% at 26 branches
These branches' permanent hours have been reduced by more than 30% compared to pre-covid levels:
- Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire.
- Barkingside, London.
- Beverley, Yorkshire.
- Canary Wharf, London.
- Christchurch, Dorset.
- Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
- Dartford, Kent.
- Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway.
- Epsom, Surrey.
- Folkestone, Kent.
- Harpenden, Hertfordshire.
- Hertford, Hertfordshire.
- Hitchin, Hertfordshire.
- Hornchurch, London.
- Lowestoft, Suffolk.
- Meadowhall, Yorkshire.
- Paignton, Devon.
- Penrith, Cumbria.
- Port Talbot, Neath Port Talbot.
- Selby, Yorkshire.
- St Austell, Cornwall.
- Tonbridge, Kent.
- Trowbridge, Wiltshire.
- Wallington, London.
- Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.
- Weymouth, Dorset.