HSBC UK has announced plans to close 69 branches in the country citing increasing customer inclination towards digital banking.

The bank noted that less than 50% of its customers actively use its branches, which has increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bank noted that it will continue to invest in its digital and mobile services and deploy resources to update technology and refurbish branches that are still being used by customers, HSBC UK said.

To support customers, the London-headquartered bank said it plans to set up community pop-ups and integrated self-service machines, offer digital support and allow continued use of the Post Office network.

HSBC UK branch network head Jackie Uhi said: “The way people bank is changing – something the pandemic has accelerated. Our branches continue to support people with their more complex banking needs, but the way we can do this has also evolved, with the addition of banking hubs, community pop-ups and continued use of the Post Office network.

“We know that the majority of our customers have a preference to do much of their day-to-day banking online or via mobile, so we are removing locations where we have another branch nearby, and where there is a significant reduction in customers using face-to-face branch servicing.”

Following the closures, HSBC’s number of branches in the UK will come down to 441.

Earlier this week, HSBC’s indirect subsidiary, HSBC Continental Europe signed a deal to sell its branch operations in Greece to local lender Pancreta Bank.