Dear Mr Castle,
Closure of the Portobello Road HSBC Bank on 16th December 2011.
I am astonished that HSBC has announced the closure of the 152 Portobello Road Branch on 16th December without any forward consultation with local Councillors representing Golborne and Colville Wards in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, when a majority of our residents will be your customers – and I have been a customer since about 1982 when it was the Midland Bank.
This closure will be viewed locally as damaging to local business and trade in the Portobello Road and Golborne Road area.
We are told that all of your Portobello Road Branch customers will be relocated to the Notting Hill Gate Branch from 19th December.
This closure will hit the vast majority of shops, market traders and business in the Portobello Road and Golborne Road area who rely on the convenience of having a local bank on their street. It is also clear that when banks move out of a main shopping centre like Portobello Road, existing and potential business take this as a signal that the area may be a bad economic prospect – otherwise why would the bank that has been there for at least 25 years be closing up shop!
At a time when the Council and local Councillors are working hard on initiatives to sustain and support the small shops and business in this area, and to encourage new business into the Portobello and Golborne, HSBC’s action sends out exactly the wrong signal, and I invite you to meet Councillors to discuss how HSBC can continue banking facilities on Portobello Road.
Moving the bank to Notting Hill Gate will also be an inconvenience to many of your customers who may have disabilities, the elderly, people with children and prams etc, and some will have to pay £2.40 to bus to Notting Hill Gate and back.
There are also a spread of community and voluntary groups who bank at the Portobello Road Branch because it is local to them who will now have to send staff to the new Branch at a time and financial cost.
Can you please come and meet with local Councillors to discuss this closure plan and to explore how HSBC banking facilities could continue on Portobello Road.
Councillor Pat Mason, Golborne Ward
Councillor Emma Dent Coad, Golborne Ward
Councillor Bridget Hoier, Golborne Ward
Councillor Dez O’Neill, Colville Ward
Councillor Judith Blakeman, Leader, RBKC Labour Opposition Group