01 August 2015

Barclays ditches branch cashiers for 'community bankers'

11 July 2014  |  10795 views  |  3 barclays Branch signage

As customers increasingly carry out basic transactions online, Barclays is ditching the old-fashioned branch cashier, retraining staff as 'community bankers'.

Following trials at around 30 branches, from October Barclays will begin ripping out the counters across its 1500-strong network and promoting 6500 cashiers, giving them a 2.8% pay rise.

Customers will be encouraged to use in-branch automated machines for basic transactions such as payments while staffers wander the floor with iPads helping with more complex issues such as mortgages.

Barclays has also been actively promoting its 'Digital Eagles' programme across its ATM network. The Eagles comprise a team of 7000 employees who have been deployed to provide a helping hand to people as they make their first forays onto the Internet.

Steven Cooper, CEO, personal banking, Barclays, says: "We know that really helping customers requires a lot of valuable people skills and this change is about investing in our colleagues and recognising their talents."

With customers moving to online and mobile banking, Barclays is axing 1700 branch jobs this year and is looking for ways to change the way it operates its huge network. Earlier this year it decided to close 400 sites and replace them with smaller outlets within Asda supermarket stores.

The latest move comes as a new British Bankers Association report predicts that, while the size of bank branch networks will decline, "high street outlets will remain important for those bigger moments, such as when a customer takes out a mortgage, wants to assess their financial options or resolve a complaint."

Comments: (3)

Vishwanath Thanalapatti - Risk Management Professional - Toronto, Canada | 12 July, 2014, 04:41

How prophetic the quote by Alvin Toffler "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write,
but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

The banks and british Banker's Association will now have to provide opportunities for right skilling the tellers and other employees who manage customer relationship.


This is long overdue. Dispensing cash, processing vanilla transactions has now moved from 'assisted' to 'self service'.  

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A Finextra member | 14 July, 2014, 11:05 This has happened in Scandinavia several years ago. Today the majority of bank branch staff are personal or corporate finance advisors and the majority of branches do not have a cash till but do have self service stations with atms, deposit machines and intetnet banking stations. Customers manage the self service applications via pc, mobile and in branch devices. This is a good part of the reason for low cost per business unit in Swedish retail banking leading to that banks in Sweden employ only 25% of the staff required in comparable European states like Germany.
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A Finextra member | 14 July, 2014, 14:09

It's a bold move by the most innovative retail bank to follow the Apple Genius Bar model. Helping customers learn to self serve has an obvious pay off.

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