HSBC banks in Tunstall and Sandbach close for final time
TWO bank branches have shut their doors for the final time.
The HSBC outlets in Tunstall and Sandbach closed yesterday.
The Sentinel reported in July that the branches were to shut after suffering a drop in customers.
Both outlets employ two members of staff who are being transferred to other branches nearby.
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HSBC customers who live in Tunstall will now have to travel three miles to Etruria or Hanley to do their banking.
People in Sandbach will face a six-and-a-half mile journey to HSBC's next nearest branch in Crewe or seven miles to Congleton.
An HSBC spokesman said the bank is currently investing more than £50 million a year on 'updating and improving' its branch network.
He added: "As part of this programme, we need to ensure that our branches are in the right locations for our customers and, on occasions, this means that we need to close some branches where customer footfall has fallen dramatically or there has been a shift in customer shopping patterns."
The spokesman said that both the Tunstall and Sandbach branches had seen a 'significant fall' in customer use over the last few years.
Both branches had only opened for 'limited hours' – from 9.30am to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Traders have hit out at the closures, saying they will inconvenience businesses which hold accounts there and raising fears the buildings will remain vacant.