New Delhi–HSBC on Thursday announced closure of its 21 retail branches in India to reshape its business around digital capabilities.

The decision was taken as a part of the strategic review of its retail banking and wealth management (RBWM) business in India, the company said in a statement.

HSBC“The network will consolidate from 50 branches across 29 cities to 26 branches across 14 cities. This change reflects changes in customer behaviour, who are increasingly using digital channels for their banking,” it said.

HSBC said that in the consolidation process, most of the staff will be re-deployed and absorbed in various other departments.

The statement cited HSBC India group general manager and CEO Stuart P. Milne as saying that the move “aims to position our RBWM business for the future, with the right mix of digital versus physical branch distribution.”

“India is a priority market for HSBC and we will continue to invest to achieve
sustainable growth by supporting the needs of our customers,” it said.

“The consolidation of the branch network will take place over the coming months in a phased manner,” it added.

The branches being consolidated account for less than 10 percent of HSBC’s retail customer base in India, the company said.