HSBC launches ‘drive-thru’ banks in network revamp

HSBC is launching “drive-thru” banks in the UK next year as part of it strategy to modernise its branch network. It is not clear when the outlets will be launched.

HSBC is launching “drive-thru” banks in the UK next year as part of it strategy to modernise its branch network. It is not clear when the outlets will be launched.

The plans have yet to be finalised but it is understood that the financial services giant is in talks with its US counterparts about how “drive-thru” branches work. The concept is already common in the US.

HSBC is seeking locations near petrol stations and business parks to maximise convenience for business and personal customers.

The bank is in the process of refurbishing its retail network and is placing more emphasis on “zones” – such as those for business banking services in branches. It also aims to encourage customers to use self-service machines for everyday transactions.

It has already revamped 60 branches, and a further 100 are earmarked for an overhaul next year. The refurbished branches are bigger, because with centralised administration less “backroom” space is needed. There are also concierge-style staff members on hand to assist customers.

HSBC is also carrying out a strategic review of its network and relocating a number of branches. A spokesman says it is more than a century since the geography of the branches was looked at in such depth.

Richard Newland, HSBC head of multi-channel retail design, says: “It is incredibly important for us, as our branches are our USP in the industry, and give us a relationship with our customers.”

Earlier this month, HSBC rival Barclays announced the appointment of Tesco store format and design director Helen Dodd to the new role of head of network development, UK retail banking.

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