UK financial watchdog tells banks to halt closure of branches during lockdown
LONDON (UK) – The Financial Conduct Authority of Britain said on Thursday that banks have to rethink moves to close branches during the lockdown.
The watchdog said banks should consider the impact of the pandemic lockdown on their ability to comply with regulatory guidance on closing branches as well as consulting customers affected.
“We are concerned that these activities could have significant consequences for customers. It may be harder than usual to reach all customers under the current restrictions and engage with them on closure proposals effectively,” it said in a statement.
Earlier during this month, HSBC had announced its plans to close 82 branches in the country following a drop in footfall across its retail network and a spike in digital transactions after the outbreak of the pandemic.