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Whitchurch residents face two-mile trip when bank closes

HSBC in Whitchurch is set to close in the New Year, forcing residents to travel two miles to get to their nearest branch.

In a letter to affected customers, the bank said the Whitchurch branch would close on January 20, 2017, with all customers being relocated. 

Photo by Google Streetview.

The Whitchurch branch of HSBC. Photo by Google Streetview

The closest branch to Whitchurch is a 40-minute walk away, on Llandennis Road, Cyncoed.

On social media many customers expressed their frustration. In response to an HSBC suggestion that customers could use the Post Office, Llinos @thelilaclinnet said customers were already queuing almost on to the street with current demand.

“Banks really are at the heart of a community, especially for older people who may not feel comfortable using internet banking or be able to travel to other branches in other parts of the city.

“I have already campaigned against the closure of the NatWest Bank in Rhiwbina and the closure of Barclays at the crossroads in Birchgrove so this is a further blow.

“Banks should have a corporate responsibility to provide a service to their customers, rather than focusing on sponsoring high-profile events or football championships.”

In a statement made on Twitter, Cardiff North MP Craig Williams said: “The news that HSBC are proposing closing their Whitchurch Branch in January is very disappointing.

“Whilst they advise that online banking has reduced footfall, this branch is in the heart of Whitchurch Village and its closure will cause inconvenience for many customers from across Cardiff North.

A spokeswoman for HSBC said: ”There are a number of factors that influenced our decision to close the Whitchurch branch – including a significant decline in counter transactions of 24% and around a 50% lower footfall than that of the average branch in our network.

“We also recognise that 93% of contact with the bank is now completed via the telephone, internet or smartphone, plus 97% of cash withdrawals are made via an ATM.

“As a result, most of our customers are already carrying out their daily banking needs without need of the branch itself.”

Figures obtained by the BBC, show that over the last year 600 banks have closed across Britain, with Wales being one of the worst affected areas.

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