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Barclays accelerates retreat from the high street

Barclays accelerates retreat from the high street

Barclays Bank is adding to a wave of branch closures across the UK, announcing plans to shut an additional 27 sites this year

By the end of the year, Barclays will have shut up shop at 103 branch locations, blaming the shift away from the high street to online and mobile channel take-up among consumers.

Barclays' branch retrenchment follows a similar pattern of closures at other big UK lenders. Lloyds, TSB, HSBC and NatWest have all this year opted to shutter more branches in the face of declining footfall.

So far this year 214 bank branches have closed, and a further 272 are scheduled to shut by the end of December.

Barclays currently operates 50 pop-up sites in local spaces, such as community centres, libraries and business hubs. The bank says it wants to move to a ‘flexible sustainable model’, such as smart ATMS, which can do more than just dispense cash.

An alternative to branch closures comes from Banco Santander, which is lopping an hour off the opening time of hundreds of its branches, admitting customers only for pre-booked appointments in the late afternoon.

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