Harpenden’s Member of Parliament Bim Afolami has told constituents that HSBC are committed to joining his proposed Harpenden Banking Hub, following a recent meeting with the company’s Chief Executive.
Mr Afolami, a former City banker and Chair of the powerful All-Party Parliamentary Group for Financial Markets and Services, met with Ian Stuart (HSBC UK’s Chief Executive) just before Christmas to discuss the banking firm’s decision to close their branch on Harpenden High Street later this year – with the MP having called for HSBC to think again in an open letter to the bank in November. The closure follows a number of recent bank closures in Harpenden, which have caused alarm amongst local residents and businesses anxious about their continued access to in-person banking services.
Mr Afolami has been campaigning for a banking hub which would protect in-person banking services for local residents for some time. In the Autumn, he published a report detailing the importance of bank branches to local communities.
Bim Afolami MP said,
Whilst it is disappointing that HSBC have made the commercial decision to close their branch on Harpenden High Street, I welcome their commitment to being part of a Harpenden Banking Hub. Their Chief Executive was very clear with me that they are 100% in favour of joining a hub to enable continued in-person banking services in Harpenden.
With continued threat of bank closures in Harpenden, it is now vitally important that we make progress on delivering this for Harpenden residents. I will continue to work with banks like HSBC and local colleagues to deliver a Banking Hub with all major banks represented on Harpenden High Street – to protect local banking services for people and businesses in Harpenden and the villages.