SHOPPERS and traders have spoken of their frustration as a second high street bank closes.
The HSBC branch in London Road, North End, Portsmouth, is due to close on Friday, February 13 – the latest in a string of banks to shut across the area.
HSBC closed its Lee-on-the-Solent branch in December and NatWest announced it intends to shut its branches in Leigh Park, Stubbington and Portchester later this year.
Phil Souza, 52, and his wife Tina, 51, live in Paulsgrove and have banked with HSBC in North End for 26 years.
He said: ‘I always liked that the bank was local, that’s why I chose HSBC.
‘All the banks seem to be going, but I don’t want to bank online.’
Diane Fletcher, who works in Barnardo’s charity shop next door to HSBC, said: ‘First NatWest closed, now HSBC is closing — it’s not looking good for North End.
‘Once HSBC goes, people aren’t going to walk this far up the road to get to us.’
Victoria Gale, 41, from Portsmouth, said: ‘It’s a real shame the bank is closing but it’s a lot easier to do banking online.’
Raymond Baldwin, 68, from Eastney, said: ‘They are killing North End.
‘I had an account there but they have moved it all to Commercial Road.
‘With the North End branch I can park and go to the bank whereas in Commercial Road I have to pay to park.
A spokeswoman for HSBC said: ‘Our customers’ habits are changing – they are increasingly using the convenience of internet, smart phone or telephone banking for their day-to-day needs.
‘In common with other high street banks, footfall in our branches has fallen dramatically.
‘It is never a decision we take lightly, but on occasions this has meant we have needed to close a branch and our North End branch is a case in point.’
HSBC said that its customers can use the North End post office for banking.