HSBC has announced that it is to launch 'drive-thru' banks in the UK in 2007 as part of its attempts to modernize its branch network.

According to The Sun, although the plans are not yet finalized, HSBC is discussing the move with its counterparts in the US, where drive-in banks are already popular, and is hoping to open its first branch in Acton, West London, with plans for further sites if the scheme is successful.

It is thought that the sites will be in convenient locations such as near petrol stations or business parks.

Tim Pie, an HSBC spokesman, stated that the branches would be useful for both consumers and business users who need to deposit takings at the end of the day. He also pointed out that high street cash points can cause traffic congestion, so the ‘drive-thru’ option could prove an attractive and convenient alternative for motorists.

Mr Pie also revealed that the planned trial branch, designed to discern consumer reaction, would be a full-service bank, with ATMs, deposit facilities and staff, as well as parking areas.

As part of it revamp efforts, HSBC is also spending GBP500 million on an extensive refurbishment of its 1,500 UK branches.