THE Merry Hill Centre branch of HSBC is set to close later this year.

It has been announced the bank in the shopping centre will close in July as part of a nationwide closure of 69 branches.

The move, which could hit around 400 workers across the branches, is the latest in a flurry of closure announcements by the UK’s biggest banks. In January last year, the bank announced 82 previous closures.

HSBC said that less than 50% of its customers now regularly use it branch network, with footfall dropping sharply over the past five years.

A spokesperson for the bank added that it hopes to redeploy all 400 staff to new roles within 15 miles of their homes.

Jackie Uhi, head of HSBC UK’s branch network, said: “The way people bank is changing – something the pandemic has accelerated.

“Our branches continue to support people with their more complex banking needs, but the way we can do this has also evolved, with the addition of banking hubs, community pop ups and continued use of the Post Office network.

“Rather than a one-size-fits-all branch approach, it’s an approach built around the way different customers are choosing to bank in different areas.”

The nearest HSBC branches to Merry Hill Centre are on Stourbridge High Street, Dudley High Street and Market Street in Kingswinford.