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HSBC to axe eight bank branches across Malta

HSBC has announced it will axe eight branches in Malta with the loss of dozens of jobs.

They will close next year as part of a major cost cutting drive of the bank’s operations across Europe.

The Maltese branches affected are St Julian’s, St Paul’s Bay, Marsascala, Hamrun, Balzan, Birzebbugia, Cospicua and Fgura.

They will be replaced by cash machines.

The bank did not say how many jobs would be affected but said that it would be offering voluntary redundancy schemes.

HSBC Malta chief executive Andrew Beane said: ‘What branches do for their customers and how and when they do it is changing.

‘With the closure of some branches, this will all be delivered through a more cost-effective operating model which will help us mitigate the long-term impact of negative interest rates on the bank’s profitability in Malta.’

HSBC said it will open a new ‘flagship branch’ within its principal office in Qormi next year, bringing together its existing Qormi and Balzan branches, which will close.

The bank, which is based in London, employed 237,685 people around the world at the end of June.

HSBC’s latest cost-cutting drive mirrors measures taken by other lenders around Europe.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank shocked markets when it announced 18,000 job cuts in July.

Barclays axed 3,000 jobs globally in the first half of the year.

Société Générale is laying off 1,600 workers in France.

HSBC closed 62 branches across the UK in 2017.