The closure of HSBC on Marlow High Street last summer means that four units now lie empty on the Buckinghamshire town’s High Street. How will they be replaced?

Opposed as some may be to the trend of banking branches packing up and leaving their local High Streets, the exodus of in-person services is now as good as fully realised, with no remaining facilities – besides building society Nationwide – left in Marlow at all.

Putting aside the debates that continue to rage around the inconveniences of such a withdrawal, some thought should also go to the now-empty buildings those banks used to occupy – leaving High Streets with bare windowed shopfronts and to-let signs, sometimes for months or years on end.

We’ve had a look at the four former banks on Marlow High Street – HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays and Natwest – and what the future might hold in store for them.

10 High Street

Bucks Free Press:

Marlow’s Barclays branch kicked off the town’s slew of bank closures back in March 2022, after a reported decline in the way customers were doing their banking.

After nearly a two-year vacancy period, plans were submitted this month by the company WS Heritage to replace 10 High Street’s shopfront alongside internal alterations.

Although 10 High Street appears to have been vacant for nearly two years, plans submitted by property consultant RAB Retail for a replacement shopfront and internal alterations were approved in November 2022.

The former branch is listed on real estate company CBRE’s website as a to-let retail unit.

17 High Street

Bucks Free Press:

Marlow’s Lloyds branch closed for good in July 2022 as part of the banking company’s UK-wide branch closures.

The former Lloyds building has been sitting empty ever since but is listed on real estate company CBRE’s website as a to-let retail unit. It could be filled any day now!

7 High Street

Bucks Free Press:

Marlow's Natwest branch closed in June 2022, with the bank citing a "shift towards digital" for the "difficult" decision.

Its former site of 7 High Street has been sitting empty for well over a year but is now the subject of renovation plans similar to those of HSBC, with property developer Sorbon Estates submitting plans to transform it into “a new, modern retail unit” through alterations including a new timber sign and window modifications.

46 High Street

Bucks Free Press:

HSBC was the most recent and final casualty in the banking branch exodus, closing its doors in August 2023 in response to “changes in the way customers are choosing to bank”.

It has been listed as an available retail space by Sorbon Estates, where it is described as a former bank that “will be undergoing a complete renovation”.

A pending planning application has been submitted by the developer for the installation of a new shopfront in the hopes of attracting a “vibrant and attractive” new retailer.

A spokesperson for Sorbon Estates said: “Having recently acquired 7 and 46 Marlow High Street, we are excited to be working on plans to revitalise these buildings, creating retail spaces that are appealing to a range of new tenants.

“We are committed to bringing exciting new retailers to the town and widening its offering even further.”