I’m sad to report that the last High Street Bank bank in Brownhills, HSBC will close for good on Friday, 25th November 2016 – this comes amidst the slump in the use of High Street branches caused by online and telephone banking, and the general woes of the bank in general – HSBC has closed over 100 branches already this year.
Brownhills has previously lost it’s Natwest and Barclays branches for much the same reason.
Many people are upset about this, and I can understand and sympathise; after all this is a body-blow for the town, and will be one less reason for folk to come into our High Street.
Customers are receiving mail notifying them of the closure and users of online banking like reader Sarah (who kindly notified me yesterday evening) are being sent this message:
Brownhills branch is closing
At HSBC we regularly review our branch coverage. In recent years the growth of telephone and online banking has resulted in branches being used a lot less. Therefore, we’ve taken a difficult decision to close our branch at 67 High Street, Brownhills, Walsall WS8 6HJ at 2pm on Friday 25 November 2016.
We’d like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you and understand you may have concerns. As you’ve either opened an account at this branch, use it often, live close by or keep items in Safe Keeping there, we wanted to let you know.
Accounts held at Brownhills will be transferred to the HSBC Lichfield branch at 49 Market Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6LB. You can however use any HSBC branch. Your account number and sort code won’t change. To find your nearest branch and HSBC cash machine use our branch locator You can also carry out most day-to-day banking using Telephone, Online and Mobile Banking services.
For more information please visit our website hsbc.co.uk/waystobank or any of our branches. You can also use the Post Office to pay in cash or cheques, withdraw money and check your balance for your personal current account.
Go to www.postoffice.co.uk/branchfinder to find your nearest branch.
Whilst I really understand the anger and dismay, I think this is to be expected as usage of High Street counter services has slumped and the banks see their branch network as being a costly overhead.
My sympathies to the staff affected, and my thanks to Andy Dennis and Sarah for the tipoff.
I’ve said this many times, and I’m going to say it again, and it’s never popular. There’s lots of hand-wringing about Brownhills, the state of the High Street and general retail decline: if you value this stuff as I do, we must start to use it, or lose it. This closure is happening because the branch isn’t seeing enough trade.
The same goes for any other commercial operation in Brownhills. It’s all very well moaning that Brownhills was once thriving, and it’s all the fault of Tesco, the Council or whoever, that it isn’t anymore; but businesses close because we don’t use them.
Pubs, grocers, newsagents and all manner of stuff shut here because folk with a choice took the option to shop elsewhere. If we are to preserve and expand upon what we have, we must use it, and not just expect others to.