CUSTOMERS have reacted with anger to news that the HSBC bank in Redditch is to be downgraded to a ‘digital branch’.
Stunned account holders received letters this week saying that on or after September 6 the counter service would go to be replaced by self service machines with staff on hand to help.
It means customers will have to travel to Bromsgrove for a face-to-face counter service if the digital bank can’t help them.
The removal of counter services is likely to hit older people and the more vulnerable the hardest by taking away the service most of them rely on.
One said: “Over the last couple of decades HSBC Redditch has generally reduced its level of service.
“The new branch will not be able to provide cash in specific denominations that you want, for example how many £10 notes, how many £5 notes, and no coins at all.
“I went into the branch and symbolically stood there and ripped the letter up. That’s what I think of their digital service.”
Another customer said: “The branch closed for a while in the summer due to the pandemic, and now this.
“I don’t call it a service, I call it a disservice.
“If you think that Barclays Bank in the Kingfisher is only open four days a week the banking options in Redditch are steadily being reduced.”
The Redditch branch is not alone in being affected by changes at HSBC.
Back in January it announced it was closing 82 branches and changing the services offered at others.
Natasha Moore, HSBC UK’s local director, said: “We need to make changes to our branch network to make sure it is sustainable and fit for the future.
“Where we are creating a digital service branch, the biggest change that customers will see will be the removal of a counter.
“Virtually all other services the branch previously offered will be maintained.”