A councillor has been left disappointed after a banking giant closed one of its last remaining Wiltshire town centre locations.

HSBC permanently shut its branch in Chippenham Market Place on Tuesday, August 15, when the bank closed its doors for the final time.

This leaves HSBC customers needing to travel to other locations in Wiltshire, including Devizes, Swindon, Trowbridge and Salisbury.

Wiltshire Councillor Nic Puntis, who represents Chippenham Cepen Park and Derriads and owns the cafe which neighbours the bank, said he was disappointed at the decision.

He said: “Nobody I represent has come to me directly about it and I understand it commercially because the majority of people want to bank online so only a small proportion of people are affected.

“But I think any High Street bank closing is a bad thing because they’re not just for elderly people.

“People like to see someone if they’re talking about their mortgage, or investing, or borrowing, and they will have a better relationship with their bank in person so it’s a shame.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The HSBC branch in Chippenham Market PlaceThe HSBC branch in Chippenham Market Place (Image: Newsquest)

As a business owner, however, Cllr Puntis is not concerned about the impact of the bank’s closure on footfall in the town centre.

He added: “There is an element of that, but I’d like to think the town centre has plenty of other attractions and banking is something you’d do while you’re here rather than the other way around.”

HSBC first announced the closure in November 2022 with 114 other branches also closing as part of the cull.

At the time of the announcement, 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."

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

Only 327 physical branches will remain open across the country, and HSBC have committed to investing tens of millions into updating and improving this network.

The banking giant hope to redeploy staff affected by the closure to other roles within the business, either to other branches or a different position.