max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Update: Barclays denies plans for ‘significant’ reduction in UK branch network

15:49 29 January 2014

Barclays has declined to comment on speculation it could close up to a quarter of its UK branches.

Barclays has declined to comment on speculation it could close up to a quarter of its UK branches.

Barclays today denied it was planning a significant reduction to its branch network, amid speculation that up to a quarter of its 1,600 sites in the UK could close.


The bank admitted there will be fewer traditional branches in the future but said the network was still an important part of its banking service.

According to today’s Financial Times, the bank is planning to replace around 400 branches with smaller sites in Asda supermarkets.

Speculation over Barclays’ branches follows an announcement yesterday by Lloyds Banking Group of 1,080 job losses across its retail, risk, operations and commercial banking divisions.

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins is leading an overhaul to improve results and repair its tarnished image following the group’s £290million fine for rigging the Libor rate.

A Barclays spokesman said: “We have no plans to announce significant reductions to our UK branch network. Increasing use of technology is changing the way in which customers choose to do their banking and creates opportunities for Barclays to offer services in new ways, complementing the branch network.

“We have consistently been clear that, over time, there will be fewer traditional branches as we move to provide banking services to customers where and when they find it most convenient. However, the branch network will remain an important part of our banking service and we will never leave a community without the ability to transact.

“Whilst it is inevitable that there will be speculation about how these changes will impact on the branch network, this will be driven by the needs of our customers and, therefore, there is not a target for a number of branches to be closed, nor a timeframe for such action.”

The Unite union today attacked the “reckless rush” to close branches, which it warned would be unpopular with customers.

The union published a survey earlier this week which showed public opposition to automation in bank branches, with consumers preferring to deal with staff rather than machines.

Dominic Hook, Unite national officer, said: “Barclays must not embark on this reckless rush to close branches and fill others with machines instead of staff.

“There will be a significant cost to customer service in Barclays. Unite has called on Barclays to halt their bank branch closure plan. The banking industry must step back from the rush to install banking machines across all their branches at the continued expense of employment and training of a much-valued workforce.

“Research shows the significant reputational damage the banks will suffer if they ignore the needs of their customers. With 72% stating they have had problems with machines in branches and 62% preferring more staff in branches, there is no doubt about the importance of frontline bank staff.

“Barclays customers don’t want to see empty soulless branches. There are serious questions as to what this reduction in staff numbers will do to customer service in Barclays.”

Mr Jenkins will set out new financial targets when he presents the bank’s results on February 11.

Barclays also said today it will set aside an extra £330m to cover litigation and regulatory costs when it reports results next month. It did not provide further details.

The move comes two days after Royal Bank of Scotland allocated more than £3billion in additional funds to cover litigation and customer compensation claims, including £1.9 billion to cover mainly US action over mortgage-backed financial products.



From left, Michael Francis, store manager, Colchester, Robert Smith, dealer principle, Colchester and Norwich, and  Emmanuel Greffier, store manager, Norwich with the Bang & Olufsen UK Partner of the Year trophy.

The team at the Bang & Olufsen store in Colchester is celebrating after beating off competition from 60 other dealerships to be named as the audio equipment firm’s UK Partner of the Year.

B&Q in Anglia Retail Park will close by 2017.

Home improvement giant B&Q is set to close one of its biggest Suffolk stores - at Anglia Retail Park on the edge of Ipswich, it can be revealed.

The Nestle Purina site in Sudbury

A Sudbury pet food factory is under increasing pressure to tackle foul odours as it is revealed an environmental regulator recorded 40 stench complaints since last month.

Kelly-Anne Byres of Poppy Nursing and Care Services.
Picture: Stephen Waller  www.stephenwaller.com

Five businesses and organisations from Suffolk and north Essex have been named among the finalists in the 2015 East of England Business Champions awards.

Ipswich Building Society general sales manager Jo Leah and her friend Libby Smith, also from Ipswich,preparing for their charity challenge involving a 100km trip down the Zambezi River.

A executive from Ipswich Building Society will today be starting a challenge to travel 100km along Africa’s Zambezi River in aid of a local charity.


Fairline testing facility at Ipswich.

The new owner of Fairline Boats has expressed confidence in the business, despite laying off more than 100 of its production staff.

Mark and Tessa Riley, of Riley and Riley Jewellers in Ipswich, were runners-up in the Ipswich Independents business competition.

The finalists in the Ipswich Independents Award 2015 have been announced.

The Saints area in Ipswich town centre has been ranked as one of the best high streets in Britain as part of the Great British High Street Awards 2015.

Shopkeepers say the prestigious recognition means Ipswich can now rival Bury St Edmunds and Woodbridge as top shopping destinations.

Investigatory work ahead of the East Anglia ONE wind farm continues on the River Deben

Investigatory drilling work is continuing on the River Deben ahead of the construction of the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm.

Alex Fairfull, managing director of Suffolk Installers in Needham Market.

More than 300 jobs in Suffolk and north Essex are at risk due to a proposed cut in Government support for solar energy, an industry organisation has claimed.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages