MP Bim Afolami has called on HSBC to axe plans to close their Harpenden branch, with concern rising over the lack of in-person banking in the town.

HSBC announced that they would be shutting down 114 branches next year as part of the latest round of closures, with Harpenden to go in July.

The bank says that some of the branches being shut now serve less than 250 customers a week, with mobile banking usage having tripled since 2017.

Following the recent closure of the Santander and Halifax branches in Harpenden, and speculation over the future of Barclays following a planning application last year, concern in rising over the future of the town’s in-person banking services.

Read more: Harpenden's HSBC bank branch to shut down next summer

But Harpenden MP Bim Afolami has written to HSBC and asked them to reconsider their plans for the town’s branch, describing it as a “vital service”.

“Residents in Harpenden will be rightly concerned to hear that another of our high street banking branches has been scheduled for closure,” he said.

“Bank branches provide a vital service that simply cannot be replicated by a shift to mobile banking – particularly when considering the number of residents who use bank branches precisely because they make banking services accessible to those who aren’t as able to bank online.

“Earlier this month, I published a report produced alongside key industry stakeholders in financial services and other Parliamentarians on the role of financial services in our communities.

Read more: Hitchin & Harpenden MP Bim Afolami: Lowering energy is "essential"

“The evidence showed that people want bank branches on their high streets and it also showed the role that bank branches have goes beyond banking.

“I will be redoubling my efforts to secure a high street banking hub in Harpenden which can help us to address the continued decline in local bank branches and protect in-person banking services for residents for a generation.

“In addition, I have written to the senior leadership at HSBC to ask them to re-consider their plans to close the Harpenden branch.”

Earlier this month, Mr Afolami published a report underlining the importance of high street banking branches for local communities and the role that banking can play in levelling up areas.