People in Petworth set to lose HSBC bank

The HSBC branch in Golden Square, Petworth
The HSBC branch in Golden Square, Petworth

ONE of only two banks in Petworth is set to close in October, leaving people in doubt about how they will access their money and banking services.

HSBC is due to close, meaning residents and businesses will be forced to use either the post office, Natwest, or travel to another HSBC.

The nearest branches are Chichester or Storrington.

This could cause severe problems to those who do not own a car or cannot use Internet banking.

John Morgan, a resident in Petworth, was in uproar about the closure. He said: “I think it is absolutely awful.

“I would have to access my account from Chichester. This would be most inconvenient and means I would have to pay to park.

“I do not go to Chichester regularly.”

Mr Morgan plans to write a letter to the managing director of the bank.

He has used HSBC for several years, having had to transfer his account from Barclays, which also shut down its branch in the town some years ago.

He said: “I have banked with them for 25 years, so am appalled at the decision to close the bank.”

Chairman of Petworth Town Council, Ken Lintill, was equally dismayed at the decision.

He said: “Though people could still access their money and use the post office, business account holders will be forced to go to Chichester.

“I am very unhappy about it, having been an account holder there for years.”

A spokesman for HSBC said: “We need to ensure our branches are in the right locations for our customers and on occasions this means we need to close a branch where customer footfall has fallen dramatically or there has been a shift in customer shopping patterns.

“Our branch in Petworth is a case in point. Customer usage of the branch has fallen very significantly over the past few years.

“Decisions like this are never easy, but we are working with the small number of customers who use the branch to help them reorganise their finances ahead of the planned closure.

“The two members of staff who man the bank will transfer to our other HSBC branches in the area.”