New Brunswick

Historic uptown Saint John bank to close doors early next year

Saint John customers with HSBC will be forced to find a new bank or have their accounts switched to Fredericton after the financial institution announced it was closing its only location in the city early in 2017.

Customers can still use online, telephone banking, as well as Fredericton branch

The HSBC branch at 7 Market Square opened in November 1996 and it is slated to cease operations in January 2017. (Julia Wright/CBC)

Saint John customers with HSBC will be forced to find a new bank or have their accounts switched to Fredericton after the financial institution announced it was closing its only location in the city early in 2017. 

"We continually review our products and services to keep up with changes in the banking environment," read a notice posted at the bank.

"After careful consideration, we will be closing this branch."

The HSBC location at 7 Market Square will cease branch operations as of Jan. 20, 2017.

Once the branch closes, counter services including cash transactions, foreign currency exchange and bank drafts will no longer be available.

The branch of record for current HSBC Saint John customers will be changed to the location in Fredericton.

The branch has operated at the location since November 1996.

Before that, the Saint John branch was on Crown Street.

The distinctive, curved sandstone building, which fronts partially on Saint Patrick Street beside City Hall and is linked to Market Square by the pedway, is also home to a sports bar and a dental clinic.

As far back as 1917, the site housed the Bank of British North America.

HSBC apologizes for inconvenience

In the letter, Norma Despaigne, the bank's manager in Saint John, also apologized for the inconvenience, acknowledging the change "may not meet all [customers'] banking needs."

Customers will still be able to withdraw cash and check balances at ATMs on the The Exchange network, which links thousands of ATMs at various Canadian institutions.

Mortgages, term deposits and other products can be maintained via telephone banking. Those with a safety deposit box at the bank are asked to consult with bank staff.

HSBC serves more than 47 million customers and has 6,000 offices worldwide.

Representatives at the branch were unable to comment on the closure.

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