Shock as HSBC announces it is closing Buckingham branch

Residents and local businesses are up in arms after HSBC announced it is shutting its branch in Buckingham.

Saturday, 26th March 2016, 6:00 am
Cllr Warren Whyte outside the Buckingham branch of HSBC that wil close in June

It says it has made the decision because since the rise of online banking, use of the Market Hill branch has fallen ‘significantly’.

But residents now face the prospect of either switching banks or travelling 12 miles to Milton Keynes or Bicester.

Bucks County Councillor for Buckingham, Warren Whyte, who uses the branch, described it as ‘very sad’ news.

He said: “The impact on business, especially cash-based ones, will be very problematic.

“However, it doesn’t surprise me – whatever time of day or week I visit, I never have to queue. This is the problem with so much banking by online means now.”

Graeme Partridge, who runs the Swan Inn at Great Horwood, uses the Buckingham branch three times a week to deposit takings and collect coins for the tills.

“It’s a bit of a shock,” he said. “I’ll have to go to MK now and with the morning traffic, it will take at least 35 minutes.

“I worked in banking so I know the rationale behind it – it’s down to economics.

“But the move is going to be a real inconvenience and there’s less incentive to make a trip to Buckingham and use other local shops.”

Amy Urquhart-Winter described it as a ‘big shame’ and Louise Holton said it was ‘disappointing’.

Jan Smith said: “I’m very disappointed as I have been with HSBC in Buckingham since it was the Midland Bank (over 30 years) and I have always been very pleased with the service.

“I have known many of the staff for years and I can’t fault them – very helpful, friendly and efficient. I actually worked there myself for a time in the 1990s. Very sad news.”

A spokesman for HSBC said it has taken the ‘difficult decision’ to shut on June 17.

She said the bank will be working with customers to ‘help them understand their options’, which include using post offices and ATMs.