Published: 12:01, 01 May 2014 |
Updated: 18:38, 01 May 2014
The banking group has blamed “significant reduction in footfall”, for the move, due on June 6.
The five staff working there will be moved to the bank’s branch in Gillingham High Street.
Linda Chapman, 62, from Spekes Road, Hempstead, joined other account holders outside the bank to protest.
She said: “To close this vibrant branch – where there’s plenty of free parking, pleasant staff and people can pop in while they’re out shopping – is crazy.”
Mrs Chapman said the decision had come “out of the blue”, and she had been unable to speak to anyone from the bank other than its overseas call centre.
She said: “I guess they have punched the postcode into a computer and found that the bank has two Gillingham addresses and decided to close one. But one is in Hempstead and the other is in Gillingham, miles away.”
A spokeswoman for HSBC said the bank needed to ensure branches were in the right places for customers.
She said: “On occasions, this means closing a branch where customer footfall has fallen dramatically or there has been a shift in customer shopping patterns.
“Our branch in Hempstead Valley is a case in point. Customer usage here has fallen very significantly.”
But she refused to respond to a request from the Messenger for customer figures. She blamed changing customer habits, increased use of internet and telephone banking, and customers using branches near work.
“The closure will be a major blow to a lot of people" - customer Linda Chapman
She added: “Decisions like this are never easy, but we are working with the small number of customers who use the branch to help them reorganise their finances.”
Customers would be able to withdraw and pay in cash at Hempstead Valley post office, as well as its banking facilities in Rainham, Chatham and Gillingham.
Mrs Chapman said: “Many customers are upset about this action, and staff are as puzzled as customers as to why such a busy branch should be closed down.
“The closure will be a major blow to a lot of people.”
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.