The Government has said it hopes to be able to lift social distancing restrictions “not before” June 21, with this being step four out of four in the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown. Today, HSBC UK has confirmed it is planning to extend the hours its branches open, as coronavirus restrictions ease further next month.
Under the plans, post June 21, HSBC UK will be increasing midweek opening hours, which are currently 10am to 2pm or 10am to 4pm.
Additionally, the bank has confirmed intentions to open 179 branches on Saturdays, and one on a Sunday.
The additional opening times will mean, across the bank’s branch network, customers will have nearly 5,000 extra hours to do their banking in a branch.
Changes were made to branch opening hours in March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
HSBC UK said there was a focus on providing greater coverage across more communities with a reduced resource.
This was to take into account colleagues who were shielding, unable to attend work due to family or childcare needs, plus the need to temporarily transfer staff to help other areas of the bank experiencing unprecedented demand.
HSBC said these adjusted hours are a step towards a permanent set of opening hours.
Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s Head of Branch Network, commented: “It has been an extremely complex picture for those public-facing businesses who have been open during the pandemic, and the organisation and logistics involved in staffing a large retailer at these difficult times shouldn’t be under-stated.
“Thanks to the hard work of our branch colleagues and a sensible plan on opening hours, we have consistently been able to keep over 98 percent of our branches open during the pandemic, while operating in line with the Governments guidance and keeping our customers and colleagues safe.
“We appreciate the patience, understanding and flexibility of our customers who have used our branches, as well as made use of other ways to bank, including using online banking or our banking app.
“With the recent re-opening of non-essential retail businesses and the possibility of remaining restrictions easing providing us all with a more normal way of life, we are planning to extend our branch opening hours.
“We will continue to keep these opening hours under review and look very closely at how customer behaviour is evolving as we come out of lockdown to understand customer demand in local markets.”
Ms Uhi continued: “As customer behaviour is evolving, we continue to evolve as well.
“We will shortly be introducing Pop-Up Branches to local communities, and for those customers who need further digital support beyond a branch, [email protected] – live virtual webinars by specially trained branch colleagues – has been developed to assist customers from the comfort of their own sofa.”
From June 21, the branches in the list below will operate between 09:30 – 13.00 on Saturdays.
The Gerrard Street branch will not be open Saturday, but be open on Sunday instead and from 11.30 – 15:00.