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Proposed HSBC Ramsey branch closure 'disappointing', says DfE

Gov't working with stakeholders to ensure local communities 'appropriately served'

The Department for Enterprise has called proposed changes to HSBC's operations in the Isle of Man 'disappointing'.

Earlier this week, HSBC announced its intention to permanently close its Ramsey branch towards the end of March.

It also intends to move the Douglas outlet to Strand Street.

The corporation says the move forms part of their 'commitment' to the Island.

Ramsey Town Commissioners is urging the bank's management to consider a re-think.

Commissioner Leonard Singer says they are writing to Ramsey MHKs Lawrie Hooper and Alex Allinson, with further support being sought from Chief Minister Alfred Cannan.

In January 2022, the Department for Enterprise published an 'Access to Cash' report.

The report looked to identify the provision of ATM's around the Island, but also focused on digital banking too.

HSBC says a declining number of residents using the Ramsey branch and transition to digital - which they say was accelerated due to the Covid-19 pandemic - is the reasoning behind the decision.

In response to the news, the Department for Enterprise provided Manx Radio with a statement:

"Finance Isle of Man, and the Department for Enterprise, maintain a strong relationship with the Island’s banks.

"Whilst branch closures continue to be a matter of concern for consumers and businesses in the community, we recognise that this decision is ultimately commercial and is a result of global trends in consumer behaviour and a move to mobile banking.

We note that HSBC will be supporting its Ramsey based customers during this period of transition, and will still offer key services including the provision of credit cards from the Douglas branch.

"While it is disappointing to see the closure of the Ramsey branch, it is encouraging to see that the bank is moving to a new central location in Douglas.

"The Department commissioned a report into Access to Cash in the community which was approved by Tynwald in 2022.

This included an analysis of the ATM network on the Island and we are working with stakeholders to ensure that local communities are appropriately served."

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