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FactCheck: Is HSBC Visakhapatnam Branch Closing because of the state?

Following a strategic review of its business in India, HSBC India, part of London-based banking giant HSBC, has decided to close 24 branches in 15 Indian cities in order to “reflect the changes in customer behavior, who are increasingly using digital channels for their banking”. The HSBC network will consolidate from 50 branches across 29 cities to 26 branches across 14 cities, it said in a statement.

Indian Express Article

The above Excerpt from a 2016 article, from the popular news website Indian Express, caught a few eyes in 2016. Later the plan by HSBC was discussed on Moneycontrol Program. Please do give this video a watch https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/cnbc-tv18-comments/hsbc-india-to-shut-down-its-private-banking-business-1510419.html

The Move that was announced by HSBC, back in 2016 was before the pandemic and the Bank had already made plans to close down most of its retail branches and consolidate the 50 branches across 29 cities to 26 branches across 14 cities in India.

The Bank announced that it would affect, Less than 1 percent — around 300 — of its total number of employees — 33,000 in India. The bank is planning to redeploy the employees to other businesses. The Bank simply planning to move out from retail banking slowly and work on wealth Management. An Article from January 2021, at Computer Weekly, had more light to shade into the matter. The bank said that even without the pandemic effect, 90% of all customer contact is now over the phone, internet, or smartphone. It also said more than 100,000 customers a week interact with it on social media.

The pandemic has emphasised the need for the changes the bank is already making to its branch network. It hasn’t pushed us in a different direction, but reinforces the things that we were focusing on before and has crystallised our thinking.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s head of network

The bank also closed many London-based branches recently. HSBC has also announced on its official website that the bank is strategically Strategically repositioning US retail business towards international banking and wealth management and Moving to a Banking as A Service Model (BaaS) model. In the Process, HSBC has also started closing down branches in USA and UK too. You can read more on this on HSBC official website.

https://www.about.us.hsbc.com/news-and-media/hsbc-exits-us-mass-market-retail-banking
https://www.about.us.hsbc.com/news-and-media/hsbc-to-launch-banking-as-a-service

However, this news that is being circulated on social media and media corners is missing the part, where the bank has decided on the closure of the Vishakha[atnam branch in 2016 itself and How HSBC is Moving to a BaaS (Banking as A Service) model and getting their existing employees into int’s newer operations.

The move that started in 2016, from the bank is now taking shape slowly and in the matter, Vishakhapatnam branch also getting closed, which was announced in 2016 itself.

https://indianexpress.com/article/business/banking-and-finance/hsbc-india-to-close-24-branches-in-15-cities-2809794/

We are appealing to the readers, to please read through the information that is out there and decide for themselves, how a single news piece is being circulated without proper reporting and further gets used to peddling misleading stories.