Sussex

Last bank in Findon Valley village to close

HSBC bank sign
Image caption The nearest alternative branch is two miles away in Worthing

Residents are planning a protest after HSBC announced it is to close the last remaining bank in their Sussex village.

The bank said its branch in Findon Valley will shut on 10 September because not enough customers use it.

The nearest alternative branch is HSBC in Broadwater, Worthing, which is two miles away.

HSBC, which recently announced profits of £7bn for the first six months of the year, said there were, on average, 20 transactions at the branch each hour.

The bank has promised to help customers make alternative arrangements for managing their finances.

Residents are to walk from the bank to the Broadwater branch later in a protest against the plans.

Maggie Winter of Findon Valley Residents' Association said: "The usage isn't actually as low as HSBC would like us to believe.

"They were the last bank standing here and five years ago they made a promise that if they were in that position they would never ever close and now they are totally reneging on that undertaking."

'Declining steadily'

HSBC said: "We took the difficult decision to close the branch in Findon Valley only after a lot of thought.

"The branch is only open for limited hours during the week and the usage of the branch has been declining steadily over the past few years.

"This is a result of customers either using other branches - particularly where they work - or they are using the internet or telephone banking for their everyday banking needs.

"On average there are only around 20 counter transactions per hour done at the branch which is very very low.

"We have written to the small number of customers who use the branch giving them three months notice that it will close on 10 September, so that we can try and help them with alternative ways of arranging their finances.

"We do appreciate that this decision may not be welcomed by all members of the community, but unfortunately the long term viability of the branch was not good.

"We have to ensure that our branch network is fit for purpose and that it reflects the shopping habits of our customers.

"It is also worth mentioning that there is ready access to free cash via the ATMs at two other sites in the village."

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