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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
HSBC's exclusive village branch
HSBC bank
All customers can still deposit and withdraw funds at Canford Cliffs
Some HSBC customers in a Dorset village will no longer be able to see their bank manager as the branch turns into one of the most exclusive in England.

At its Canford Cliffs branch, the self-titled "world's local bank" will only allow face-to-face banking for its "premier" customers.

The move, which starts in June, means Canford Cliffs will be the country's only exclusively "premier" HSBC branch.

An HSBC spokesman said it has no plans to introduce such a service elsewhere.

The cheapest house currently on the market in Canford Cliffs, near Poole, is priced at 330,000 with the most expensive priced at more than 8m.

To be eligible for the face-to-face banking service at Canford Cliffs, customers must have:

  • 50,000 savings
  • or a 200,000 mortgage
  • or a 100,000 mortgage and 75,000 salary
  • or pay 19.95 a month "premier" account fee and have 75,000 salary

Other customers will have to visit nearby branches in Poole or Westbourne, although they will still be able to deposit and withdraw funds from cash machines at Canford Cliffs, which does not have a cashier service.

If it leads to lower charges for the not so rich then go ahead
Andrew, sheffield

One customer, who did not want to be named, said: "That's what this area is all about - money, it's the way it's going."

An HSBC spokesman said: "The reason we are doing it is because Canford Cliffs is a very wealthy area and well serviced by HSBC. It's a unique location.

"A high percentage of customers at this particular branch are premier customers."

Should banks offer 'premier' branches just for the rich?
Not sure
5880 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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07 Jul 06 |  Dorset

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