HFC/Beneficial to close its 800 branches nationwide, including four in North Alabama

Published: Mar. 3, 2009 at 1:54 AM CST|Updated: Apr. 3, 2009 at 1:02 AM CDT
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By Trang Do - Bio | Email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A major consumer lender is closing its 800 branches nationwide, including four right here in North Alabama.

About 6,100 Household Finance Corporation and Beneficial employees will lose their jobs.

A company spokeswoman declined to tell us how many people that would affect at the branches here in North Alabama.

The closing of these branches will also mean changes in customer service.

HSBC--the parent company of Household Finance Corporation and Beneficial has announced it's closing all of its HFC and Beneficial U.S. branches across 46 states, including two in Huntsville, one in Madison, and one in Decatur.

The consumer lending offices offered personal loans and home mortgages.

An HSBC spokeswoman told WAFF 48 News, "It was a business decision driven by challenging market conditions," said Kate Durham.

Mortgage Specialist Larry Thompson of First Family Mortgage Company said in this situation, it's likely that HSBC will continue to service the loans they already have.

"In most cases when they do something like that, it means that they are actually not accepting any more applications as far as when it comes to mortgages, but they'll still maintain some of the mortgages they still have and service them," Thompson said.

HSBC announced that it would be doing exactly that, but the biggest change will be to customer service.

Now that the local, neighborhood branches will be closing, interaction with consumers who have loans with the company will now come via phone, internet and mail, rather than in person.

This decision will not affect any of HSBC's bank branches in the U.S., which will continue to provide consumer loans.