WELLINGTON's HSBC branch is still set to close following attempts to change the plans from Taunton's member of parliament. 

It was announced at the end of last year that the bank would be closing.

Rebecca Pow, MP, met with the representatives of HSBC to discuss the plans the close the branch on Fore Street.

According to the bank chain, the branch, which is set to close on February 24, has seen a significant reduction in footfall, following an increase in online banking with 86 per cent of customers in Wellington already using digital banking.

Ms Pow said: "I was pleased to meet with HSBC and ensure that all was being done to assist the users of the bank in Wellington town centre. Whilst as the MP, I am unable to influence the commercial decision to close the branch, I was particularly pleased to see the range of options on offer to customers. I urge all those who are sceptical of these changes, to visit bank and talk to the staff who will walk through the alternatives or arrange and in-depth one-on-one session.

"It is very sad to see the bank leave the town centre, but this is an unfortunate trend that we are seeing national as more and more of lives becomes digitalised. As the shop in a prime town centre local I am confident the space will be snapped up, especially as the local economy is thriving.” 

Ms Pow was keen to ensure that those who do not have access to internet banking were still able to access the services they need.

HSBC explained at the meeting how they were making the transition to digital banking easier, by investing in new technologies such as fingerprint and voice recognition, in place of the traditional password which many find hard to remember.

For those who do not wish to use online services, HSBC has also begun a partnership with the Post Office, where over the counter services will continue for no fee. HSBC staff will be on hand to give a tutorial on these new services for those Wellington residents who are unsure of the change.