24 April 2014

Barclays to replace 400 branches with supermarket outlets

29 January 2014  |  5613 views  |  5 barclays signage through window 2

Plans by Barclays to revamp its branch network are coming into focus, with chief executive Anthony Jenkins telling the BBC that the UK bank will close a quarter of its high street branches over the coming year.

In November, Barclays confirmed plans to axe 1700 customer-facing jobs from its branch network in 2014, citing the rise of new customer channels, particularly mobile banking.

Speaking to the BBC, Jenkins says that the bank plans to replace about 400 branches with smaller outlets in Asda supermarkets.

The cost-cutting measures will also be felt in the investment banking division, with another 400 jobs expected to be axed, over and above the 1800 roles already identified for the chop last year.

The update comes as Jenkins prepares to unveil a new five-year plan for the business next month, which will set out plans to lop £1.7bn from annual expenses by next year.

Responding to the BBC reporting, a Barclays spokesman said the bank had yet to set a timeframe for the branch cull, adding that it would not leave a community without the ability to transact.

"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," the spokesman said. "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 time frame for such action."

Comments: (5)

Keith Appleyard - available for hire - Bromley | 29 January, 2014, 12:24

Well I wonder what market demographic Barclays are focussing on?

I would have thought a tie-in with Waitrose or Marks and Sepencer would be more in tune with their profitable clientele they presumably wish to retain - would they be seen dead going into Asda?

My nearest ASDA is 7 miles away, whilst my nearest Barclays is half-mile walk - but as an alternative I've Lloyds, Santander, Nationwide and HSBC to choose from within a 100 yd stretch. 

Matt White - Finextra - London | 29 January, 2014, 13:50

In the current climate, I'd have thought 'brand contamination' would be more of a worry for Asda than Barclays. 

Keith Appleyard - available for hire - Bromley | 29 January, 2014, 14:12

Very good Matt!

A Finextra member | 29 January, 2014, 14:38

This "mini branch " in supermarkets was tried in Sweden some 10 yeras ago. It was not a hit for anybody - not the bank, the supermarket or the customer and the concept does not exist now. Not even in the banks that are owned by supermarket companies... Large "branch focused" banks go for cashless bank branches and the supermarket banks tend to rely on the phone and internet services. In the supermarkets the "banking" service is limited to cash-back and cash-withdrawal at the till using payment cards.

Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 30 January, 2014, 09:35

@MattW: As an ex-ASDA customer, I agree with your view!

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