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June 17 2014.

Newhaven Lib Dem MP Norman Baker says he is disappointed that the last bank in Newhaven will be closing its doors for the last lime later this year and has sought assurances that people of Newhaven will be able to access a banking service locally.

HSBC Bank plc has announced that the Newhaven branch of the bank will close on Friday the 12th of September and will shortly be writing to all customers. Nearest branches for customers will now be in Seaford, Lewes or Brighton, all of which operate longer opening hours than the Newhaven branch.

Lester Wynne-Jones from HSBS Bank plc says: “We have made this decision with great reluctance, but after a careful analysis of the branch’s commercial viability it was clear that it is no longer generating the custom necessary to justify its continued development.”

Norman Baker MP has met with HSBC representatives to get assurances that residents in Newhaven will still be able to access the services of the bank, especially the 23% of customers that HSBC say only use the Newhaven branch and are not registered for telephone or internet banking.

Norman says: “I have been assured by HSBC that customers not wishing to access alternative branches will be provided support in how to access banking via the Post Office or training for alternative banking services. I have also insisted that HSBC investigate leaving a cash machine in place following closure, to maintain some sort of service to its customers.

“HSBC has also assured me that there will be no redundancies attached to this branch closure as staff will be redeployed to other branches. 

“Although I appreciate viability of a branch is a priority for HSBC, this does not help those individuals who are reliant on a counter service to access their own bank accounts and it is a real disappointment to those customers. Not everyone wants to bank online.”