A strange phenomenon is occurring in Bristol: people not playing football is resulting in the closure of bank branches in the city.

The source of this curious news is the ever (un)reliable Bristol Post, which yesterday carried a story headlined: “Two HSBC banks to shut in Bristol following slump in customers“.

The relevant section is shown in the following screenshot*.

relevant sentence reads There has been a 40 per cent reduction in football in just five years across all of HSBC's branches

Either football is vital to the survival of HSBC bank branches or there’s a typographical error in the third sentence.

To help readers decide which of the two above alternatives is correct, your correspondent has not noticed that the floors of HSBC bank branches are marked out with white lines to resemble football pitches.

As a final thought and a bit of idle speculation, are more errors creeping in to news reports appearing online due to modern “journalists” working with predictive text options switched on?

* = The article’s copy has since been amended with “footfall” replacing “football” in the third paragraph.