In a move that has left the banking sector reeling, Barclays recently declared plans to shut down an additional 14 High Street bank branches across the nation.
After previously revealing that a planned forty-one bank branches will be ceasing operations this year, five of which are no longer in business due to already being closed, another major announcement has been made; in total, 55 Barclays Banks will be closed in 2023!
These latest closures come after another 132 branches were closed in 2022, and are sure to cause further disruption to the United Kingdom’s high streets.
Reasons Why Branches are Being Listed for Closure
Barclays claims that the branch closures are due to its customers turning away from traditional banking methods and opting for digital ones instead.
With more people now turning to and using online banking services and apps, the demand for physical sites has decreased significantly in recent years.
The bank also cites changing customer needs as another major factor in the closure decision. According to Barclays, its customers are now looking for “simpler interactions” with their bank rather than a full range of services offered within its stores.
How is Barclay’s Choosing to Respond?
In response to the branch closures, Barclays has said that there will be an increase in its number of pop-up sites by an additional 70, and they will be setting up 200 temporary ‘banking pods’, which will be spread and distributed across the UK.
These banking pods are designed to provide customers with access to basic services, like cash deposits and withdrawals, without having to travel too far from home. The pods can also be moved based on area demand, so they can be located where they’re needed most at any given time.
Additionally, Barclays is investing heavily in its digital banking capabilities in order to keep up with and meet customer needs better than before.
Barclays has announced 14 more bank branches will close this year – see the full list https://t.co/2eocX5otTF— LBC (@LBC) March 13, 2023
What Are The Positives of The Branch Closures?
These closures could lead to a positive result for Barclays in the long term. With fewer physical stores to manage, the bank will be able to cut costs significantly and generate more profits as a result.
This should allow the company to be able to continue investing in its digital offerings and customer service, which in turn should help keep their customers happy.
These branch closures may also represent an opportunity for other banks to fill the gap left by Barclays, which could open up new opportunities in areas where branches are closing, giving local businesses in those areas an alternative banking option.
Ultimately, this could lead to increased competition in the industry and better services overall, but realistically only time will tell whether these branch closures will have a negative or positive effect on both Barclays’ customers and the banking industry as a whole.
The Downfalls of Branch Closures and What They Mean For Customers
The branch closures are sure to cause some disruption in the short term, as customers will have to adjust to new banking methods and find alternative ways to access services that they will no longer have access to.
This could be especially difficult for those who rely on physical stores the most, such as elderly customers or those living in rural areas with limited digital infrastructure, that will be left without a nearby bank for their personal or business use.
It’s also worth noting that any job losses due to the closures could lead to a rise in unemployment, which would obviously be a major concern for the UK economy. Though Barclays has said it is working hard to minimise any potential job losses, unfortunately this may not be enough and some job losses could be likely to occur.
This latest announcement of additional branch closures is a devastating hit to loyal customers and small businesses all over the UK that depend on nearby banks for assistance and financing.
Barclays claims it is catering to customer needs, but the truth of the matter is that these recent closures are causing unrest for many communities throughout Britain who depend on physical banks in their everyday lives and activities.
While digital banking certainly offers numerous advantages, you can’t beat a personal conversation when it comes to truly grasping customers’ needs and providing tailored financial advice or services. Nothing compares to the human connection that direct interactions provide!