Barclays financial institution is closing one other 14 of its branches because the variety of individuals visiting them falls amid a continued transfer to digital banking channels. The branches in England and Wales can be shuttered in June this yr.
Barclays joins rivals in saying a brand new spherical of closures. Earlier this yr, NatWest stated it could shutter 23 branches in England and Wales within the subsequent six months, whereas Lloyds Banking Group not too long ago introduced it could shut 40 branches.
Banks’ bulletins of department closures are inevitably accompanied by statements that clients 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 clients on-line – accelerated take up of digital providers and discount in department use.
A Barclays spokesperson stated: “As visits to branches proceed to fall, we have to adapt to supply one of the best service for all our clients.”
However the authorities needs banks to make sure their clients can attain bodily providers, together with entry to money.
In Might final yr, the federal government stated it could legislate for the Monetary Conduct Authority (FCA) to guarantee banks enable customers to entry money and make deposits inside an affordable distance from their houses. “To assist the FCA, the federal government will sooner or later set out its expectations for an affordable distance for individuals to journey when depositing and withdrawing money,” stated a press release from the Treasury on the time.
The Barclays spokesperson stated: “The place there isn’t a longer sufficient demand to assist a department, we preserve an in-person presence although our Barclays Native community, dwell in over 200 places, primarily based in libraries, city halls, cell 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 Put up Workplace and Money Entry UK.”
In January, Barclays launched a challenge to create “banking pods” the place banking providers might be accessed. The financial institution describes the banking pods as “purpose-built, semi-permanent buildings in websites equivalent to buying centres and retail parks”.
The financial institution stated not less than 10 can be arrange within the UK by summer season 2023. To achieve clients in distant places, it additionally plans for six extra electrical automobile banking vans to be added to its current fleet of 10.
Final month, TSB stated it’s piloting its personal banking pods, which can supply banking providers in buying centres and supply an alternate supply of banking providers 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 clients with TSB to hold out their banking.
Prospects will be capable of entry money and TSB will quickly add performance to allow them to deposit cash. They may even be capable of get assist from advisers on actions equivalent to making funds, accessing services and products, or establishing digital banking.