A SOUTHEND bank has undergone a refurbishment, and has now re-opened to the public.

The HSBC branch, based on The Broadway, was temporarily closed while the works went underway - and saw the site transformed into a Digital Service Branch.

Changes included the removal of a counter, while traditional cash and cheque transactions will be done using self-service technology. 

The bank has now re-opened, first showing off it's brand new look on Monday (July 19).

Ahead of the opening, Karen Collier, HSBC UK’s local director, said: “We need to make changes to our branch network to make sure it is sustainable and fit for the future.

"In January we announced that some branches are closing and how our branch network would be evolving.

"We are creating four distinct branch formats, designed to provide local areas with the banking facilities that best suit local customer needs, and we are pleased to say our Southend branch is being retained.

"We are excited that it will become a Digital Service Branch, including a light refurbishment of the branch. 

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"Where we are creating a Digital Service Branch, the biggest change that customers will see will be the removal of a counter.

"Virtually all other services the branch previously offered will be maintained, it might just be done in a different way, for example, traditional cash and cheque transactions will be done using self-service technology. This is an evolution in our branches, and there will need to be a certain evolution in how our customers bank.

"We are very conscious that there will be some customers who are less confident or comfortable using self-service options, and we would like to assure them that we will not be leaving any of our customers high and dry.

"We are contacting vulnerable customers by phone to discuss the forthcoming change and will be supporting them alternative ways to do their banking.

"Our branch staff will also be on hand to help in the banking hall rather than behind a screen, to explain and also to educate customers on how to complete their transaction.

"Digital Service Branches will also have a presentation space, an area set aside for customer seminars, which could include talks on how to avoid becoming the victim of fraud.

"It is also important to note that customers can also complete day-to-day transactions at their local post office, which may be even more convenient for them than a trip to the branch.”

The Echo had previously reported the branch was due to shut after receiving incorrect information from the Post Office. We apologise for the confusion.