Barclays makes additional reduce to department community
Barclays financial institution is closing one other 14 of its branches because the variety of folks visiting them falls amid a continued transfer to digital banking channels. The branches in England and Wales shall be shuttered in June this yr.
Barclays joins rivals in saying a brand new spherical of closures. Earlier this yr, NatWest stated it might shutter 23 branches in England and Wales within the subsequent six months, whereas Lloyds Banking Group just lately introduced it might shut 40 branches.
Banks’ bulletins of department closures are inevitably accompanied by statements that prospects are shifting to digital channels and footfall in branches is dropping quickly.
Banks have been closing branches and redirecting investments into digital channels for years, and the Covid-19 pandemic – which compelled prospects on-line – accelerated take up of digital companies and discount in department use.
A Barclays spokesperson stated: “As visits to branches proceed to fall, we have to adapt to offer the most effective service for all our prospects.”
However the authorities desires banks to make sure their prospects can attain bodily companies, together with entry to money.
In Could final yr, the federal government stated it might legislate for the Monetary Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure banks allow consumers to access cash and make deposits inside an affordable distance from their houses. “To assist the FCA, the federal government will in the end set out its expectations for an affordable distance for folks to journey when depositing and withdrawing money,” stated an announcement from the Treasury on the time.
The Barclays spokesperson stated: “The place there isn’t any longer sufficient demand to assist a department, we preserve an in-person presence although our Barclays Native community, reside in over 200 places, primarily based in libraries, city halls, cellular vans and our new banking pods.
“We additionally assist entry to money with our cashback with out buy service, 24-hour deposit-taking ATMs and by working alongside the Submit Workplace and Money Entry UK.”
In January, Barclays launched a project to create “banking pods” the place banking companies will be accessed. The financial institution describes the banking pods as “purpose-built, semi-permanent buildings in websites akin to purchasing centres and retail parks”.
The financial institution stated no less than 10 shall be arrange within the UK by summer season 2023. To succeed in prospects in distant places, it additionally plans for six extra electrical car banking vans to be added to its present fleet of 10.
Final month, TSB stated it’s piloting its own banking pods, which is able to provide banking companies in purchasing centres and supply another supply of banking companies as extra financial institution branches shut.
It’s operating three pilots of its pods in North London, Wigan and Luton. They use expertise, generally known as BankHive, from ATM supplier NoteMachine to attach prospects with TSB to hold out their banking.
Clients will be capable to entry money and TSB will quickly add performance to allow them to deposit cash. They can even be capable to get assist from advisers on actions akin to making funds, accessing services, or establishing digital banking.