November 1, 2016
"A sad loss" - Mayor's dismay at plans to shut Burnham-On-Sea bank

Burnham-On-Sea's Mayor has spoken out at HSBC's plans to shut down its branch in the town. first reported that HSBC is to shut down its Burnham-On-Sea branch in January 2017.

The bank blames a sharp 28 per cent reduction in footfall at the Burnham-On-Sea branch in College Street for the "difficult decision".

Burnham's Mayor Michael Clarke told "My thoughts are with any staff that will be effected by the sad loss of our local HSBC branch, and to all those customers that rely on having a local branch to be able to carry out their banking needs."

"Not everyone in our society has access to, or the ability to use internet / telephone banking, and the loss of a local branch will be felt hard by both staff and customers alike."

Alex Turco from Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade added: "Our thoughts are with the staff at the bank. This decision will impact many community groups and residents in town who bank with HSBC and still receive cheques and need a face-to-face service."

"It's also very disappointing that the bank's closure may lead to a reduction in footfall in Burnham town centre if the bank's customers are pushed to use online banking instead of visiting our town centre."

Burnham's MP James Heappey told "I am deeply disappointed to hear that HSBC will be closing its branches in Burnham-On-Sea and Shepton Mallet."

"HSBC briefed me on the closures last week and I understand staff were told last week too. Whilst HSBC are offering opportunities for all affected staff in other branches, my first concern is with those whose jobs are affected."

"HSBC tell me that customers will be receiving letters explaining the closure and the alternative arrangements they propose in the post today. They argue that the branches are no longer viable as more and more customers are choosing to bank online."

"But this is the same story as we’ve seen from HSBC and other banks in other towns across the Wells Constituency and across the country. Undoubtedly more and more people are willing and able to do their banking online but there is scant regard for those who cannot travel to other nearby branches, are unable to use the internet and for small businesses who need a nearby facility to bank their cash every day in order to remain within in the terms of their insurance policies. HSBC will offer the post offices in Burnham and Shepton as an alternative but Post Office are not able to offer a full range of services; especially for small businesses. They’re not able to do this because the banks won’t let them!"

"I strongly encourage both business and personal banking customers to switch their accounts to other banks in the towns. In Shepton this is particularly important as there will now be just one remaining bank. The banks look simply at the amount and value of business done in a branch and so the best way to guard against further closures is to make sure that remaining banks are rewarded with as much business as possible."

"I have been campaigning in Parliament over the regulations on bank branch closures since the loss of all the remaining banks in Glastonbury last year. Most recently, that has included a meeting with Professor Russel Griggs who has been conducting a review into the Access to Banking Protocols. Professor Griggs will publish his report in the next few weeks but it will include significant recommendations for a revision of these protocols. I have discussed the likely recommendations with HSBC and they have confirmed that they will be seeking to manage the closure of these branches, as much as possible, in accordance with whatever recommendations Professor Griggs makes."

"It is hugely frustrating that yet more bank branches are closing and there is no escaping that for some in our community, there is no option other than banking in person, over the counter in a local bank. Until post offices are empowered to offer a full service in lieu of a bank and until cashless facilities are available to small businesses without significant transaction fees; it is disingenuous for our high street banks to claim that they can close branches without impact. I will continue to push them hard on these issues."

Meanwhile, HSBC says that customers who have questions about the closure should contact the bank's community communication team on Freephone 0800 243 364 or via


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