Barclays Bank is warning customers to expect regular weekend blackouts of online, phone and mobile banking services for the rest of the year as it prepares to separate its wholesale and retail banking business to comply with UK ring-fencing rules.
In the first weekend of the lock-out, online, mobile and telephone services will go down at 11:30pm on Saturday 19 August and won’t be available again until 3:30pm on Sunday 20 August. Customers also won’t be able to access the money-transfer app Pingit, nor will they be able to transfer money in or out of their account.
Barclays has advised customers that they will face outages for one weekend every month until December 2017. "We know this may cause disruption and we're sorry for any inconvenience," says the bank in its correspondence.
The mammoth separation programme will see as many as 800,000 sort codes changed as the bank shuffles customer accounts across the business. Barclays says that existing standing orders going out of accounts will be updated with the new sort code, and recipients of Direct Debits from affected accounts - such as gas, electricity, TV licence and council tax - will be informed of the new details.
News of the Web blackout comes at an awkward time for Barclays, which is planning to close around 54 branches before the end of the year as more customers choose to conduct their financial affairs online.