ONE of the UK’s ‘big four’ high street banks is to close its Chippenham branch next year.

HSBC announced today it is to close 114 branches from April 2023 with the Market Place, Chippenham, branch due to close on August 15.

The HSBC branch in Frome will also close in June, leaving branches in Devizes, Salisbury, Swindon and Trowbridge.

Around 100 staff could lose their jobs as a result of the plans, HSBC said.

The latest round of closures come as more and more customers turn to mobile and online banking.

HSBC said it will invest tens of millions of pounds in updating and improving its remaining branch network, of which only 327 will remain open after the new wave of closures.

The decline in customers using branches has accelerated since the Covid pandemic and some of the branches being closed are serving fewer than 250 people a week, HSBC added.

Meanwhile, the number of customers using its mobile app has almost tripled since 2017, with most of the transactions being completed digitally.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s managing director of UK distribution, said: "People are changing the way they bank and footfall in many branches is at an all-time low, with no signs of it returning. Banking remotely is becoming the norm for the vast majority of us.

"The decision to close a branch is never easy or taken lightly, especially if we are the last branch in an area, so we’ve invested heavily in our ‘post-closure’ strategy, including providing free tablet devices to selected branch customers who do not already have a device to bank digitally, alongside one-to-one coaching to help them migrate to digital banking."

HSBC hopes to redeploy all the employees at affected branches to other roles within the group, either to other branches or to a different position.

The high street bank is simply following in the footsteps of Barclays, Lloyds and NatWest which have all closed branches in Wiltshire towns this year.

Since the start of 2019, Barclays has closed 574 branches, the TSB 330, Lloyds 270 and HSBC 189. M&S also closed all of its in-store branches.

Earlier this year, Barclays announced the closure of its Trowbridge branch on September 2, with other branches closed in Devizes, Marlborough, Warminster and Westbury.

Last year, Lloyds closed its branches in Amesbury and Melksham.