Set in Poole on the Southern Coast of England, HSBC has announced that will be forced to close a branch specially built to cater to wealthy customers as online and mobile banking trends make the branch unsustainable. Opened for ‘premier’ customers in 2007, to use the branch customers must have £50,000 ($77,000) in savings, a £200,000 ($308,000) mortgage or a £100,000 ($154,000) mortgage plus a salary of £75,000 ($115,500) just to speak to a teller.
While ‘Normal’ customers are allowed to use ATMs, if they require financial advice or wish to use a teller they must travel three miles to another branch. Commenting on the branch, a HSBC spokesman said,
“The lease on this premises is due to expire shortly, plus with increase in the use of online and telephone banking leading to declining branch usage, we have taken the difficult decision to close the branch.”
Though the wealthy in Poole will be sad to see their special branch disappear, the convenience of online and mobile banking was bound to affect specialized branches in particular since they are not able to cater to a broad enough audience to be financially sustainable.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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