Bim Afolami, the MP for Hitchin & Harpenden, has said that HSBC is committed to joining a proposed banking hub in Harpenden.

HSBC announced in November that its Harpenden branch would close in July - just the latest in a line of banks and building societies to close in the town.

While an open letter from Mr Afolami failed to prevent HSBC's closure, Harpenden Town Council plans to apply for a banking hub next month.

Mr Afolami has met with Ian Stuart, the chief executive of HSBC UK, who told him that the bank would join the proposed hub.

Mr Afolami said: “While it is disappointing that HSBC have made the commercial decision to close their branch on Harpenden High Street, I welcome their commitment to being part of a Harpenden Banking Hub.

"Their chief executive was very clear with me that they are 100 per cent in favour of joining a hub to enable continued in-person banking services in Harpenden.

“With continued threat of bank closures in Harpenden, it is now vitally important that we make progress on delivering this for Harpenden residents.

"I will continue to work with banks like HSBC and local colleagues to deliver a banking hub with all major banks represented on Harpenden High Street – to protect local banking services for people and businesses in Harpenden and the villages.”