TAVISTOCK’S HSBC bank has closed its doors today, one of 82 branches across the country which has shut up shop in a new restructure.

The manager of Tavistock Business Improvement District (BID) Janna Sanders called it ‘a sad day for Tavistock’ .

‘There has been a bank in that location for a long time and it was iconic having four bank in the centre of town like that,’ she said. ‘The historic building is somewhat of a landmark and I hope it is repurposed for the high street.

‘Customers will now have to travel to Launceston for their nearest HSBC bank which is a major inconvenience for many people. I think it is a sign of just how difficult it is for all businesses at this time.’

In a statement earlier this year HSBC UK said it had set out plans to change its branch network to reflect local market trends, customer behaviour and branch usage.

’Of the branches selected for closure, 81 are within one mile of a post office, where customers can carry out day-to-day transactions, two-thirds are within five miles of another HSBC branch and nine in ten are within 10 miles,’ said the bank.

The National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) has said whilst the closure of the HSBC branch would be disappointing to HSBC’s customers in Tavistock, alternative banking provision was available to local residents at post office branches at Abbey Place, Tavistock, Whitchurch Post Office and Mary Tavy Post Office.

Each of these branches offers banking services — including deposits, free cash withdrawals and balance checks, as well as offering face-to-face access to government services, bill payment, foreign currency, travel insurance and postal services. There are currently 2,000 free-to-use ATMs installed across the UK post office network also.

‘Post offices are proving vital to retaining people’s and business’s access to cash as the banks continue to desert the high street in order to cut costs and increase their profits,’ said the NFSP.

‘Every post office plays a vital role within the heart of the local community. Post offices provide a reliable and essential service which has continued at a high standard across the whole of the UK throughout the pandemic.’