It’s great news that some HSBC branches will be open later and on Saturdays. So is this the start of a new trend in customer-service-comes-first banking?
We were mightily heartened to hear that HSBC is responding to ‘consumer habits’ and opening for longer. The changes mean 80 branches will have longer opening hours in the week and an extra 170 will be opening on Saturdays.
Along with its other branches open on Saturday, that brings the total to 500 – only a proportion of its total 1412 branches. HSBC claims many of the new branches are in suburbs and more rural areas, but these numbers suggest lots of rural customers still won’t be able to bank at weekends. Still, it’s a start.
In our recent poll which asked if you want banks to be more like shops, 34% of you said that customer service is key. So let’s hope these longer opening hours mean a good standard of service and staffing levels.
Of course, we could be even more cynical and consider the shiny new Metro Bank in all this. Is it a coincidence that Metro opened its first customer-service focussed bank only two weeks ago? Or that one of the HSBC branches extending its hours is on the same street as Metro in High Holborn?
Probably not. But if competition has forced the big banks to review their tactics in a way that helps consumers, we’re not complaining. With any luck, more banks will be jumping on the bandwagon very soon…