Dubai : HSBC branch in Britain tells poorer clients to go elsewhere

London: Britain’s largest bank is closing the doors of one of its branches – but only to poorer customers. The HSBC in the well-heeled area of Canford Cliffs, near Poole in Dorset, will only offer cashier services to richer clients from June 11. Anyone else will have to make do with cash machines. The branch lies close to the Sandbanks area overlooking Poole Harbour which boasts some of the most expensive property prices in Britain outside London. To be eligible for face-to-face banking services at the branch, customers will have to fall into its « premier » category, which means they will have to have savings of at least £50,000 or a £200,000 mortgage. Alternately, they must have a £100,000 mortgage plus a salary of £75,000-plus. HSBC – which promotes itself as « the world’s local bank » – said all customers would still be able to deposit cash, cheques and coins at « express » terminals within the branch and withdraw cash. Premier status But those who do not qualify for premier status will have to pay a fee of £19.95 per month to use cashier services – such as opening a current account or applying for a mortgage. A spokesman said the group had a « unique » situation in the area, with three branches in a radius of around two miles. It has a branch in Westbourne one mile away and another in Poole just over two miles away, both of which will remain full-service branches. The spokesman said: « We’re not banning the poor – that’s utterly untrue. « What we’re recognising is that, in this area, we have a unique situation: we have a high proportion of ‘premier’ customers who have more complex needs and warrant a premier service. « We have other branches that are very close that can service the other needs of customers who aren’t ‘premier’ customers. » He added that the banking giant had no plans to convert other branches to offer face-to-face banking to premier customers only. However, Canon Jeremy Oakes, vicar of the parish of Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks – whose church also banks at the branch – said many elderly parishioners with mobility problems would find it « very difficult indeed » to use the two other branches. Source : Glfnews