Barclays unveils plans to shut 14 branches in fresh blow to UK high street

In UK News


Banking giant Barclays is to shut 14 of its branches in a fresh blow for the UK’s struggling high streets. 

The company will close 11 outlets across England, two in Wales and one in Scotland, it announced this morning.  

Barclays had previously revealed 41 banks would close this year, including five that have already shut up shop. But the latest closures today means that 55 Barclays sites will shut for good this year, the Mirror claims.   

Sites in London, Colchester, Beckenham and Ebbw Vale are among the latest earmarked to shut up shop. 

The latest announcement by Barclays follows a flurry of closures by other banks this year, including NatWest which is axing 23 sites, and Lloyds Banking Group is closing 40 Halifax and Lloyds branches. 

Barclays has unveiled plans to wind up a further 14 bank branches nationwide, with 11 sites in England, two in Wales and one in Scotland earmarked for closure

Barclays has unveiled plans to wind up a further 14 bank branches nationwide, with 11 sites in England, two in Wales and one in Scotland earmarked for closure 

Barclays has also seen 67 per cent of its bricks-and-mortar banks close in the last seven years. Britain’s biggest and most profitable financial institutions have for years been conducting nothing less than an assault on branch banking

Barclays announced it is shutting 14 banks, bringing the total number set to be axed this year to 55. The bank has also seen 67 per cent of its bricks-and-mortar banks close in the last seven years up to the end of 2022

In the past seven years, more than 7,000 banks branches from the five biggest lenders, have closed in a sign of the growing strain facing the industry. 

Here is the full list of banks earmarked for closures:

4 High Street, Manningtree, England, CO11 1AF – June 7, 2023

6/8 High Street, Ringwood, England, BH24 1BZ – June 8, 2023

58 High Street, Newmarket, England, CB8 8NH – June 9, 2023

10 Bethcar Street, Ebbw Vale, Wales, NP23 6HQ – June 9, 2023

21 Cowgate, Kirkintilloch, Scotland, G66 1HW – June 9, 2023

10 Yorick Road, West Mersea, Colchester, England, CO5 8HX – June 13, 2023

3 Beckenham Road, Beckenham, England, BR3 4ES – June 14, 2023

47 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, CF47 8DL – June 14, 2023

1 Tudor Square, West Bridgford, England, NG2 6BT – June 15, 2023

29 High Street, Mildenhall, England, IP28 7EA – June 14, 2023

21 High Street, Lymington, England, SO41 9YJ – June 15, 2023

35 Notting Hill Gate, London, England, W11 3JR – June 16, 2023

1 Station Road, Knowle, England, B93 0HW – June 16, 2023

137 Brompton Road, London, England, SW3 1QF – July 7, 2023

A Barclays spokesperson said: ‘As visits to branches continue to fall, we need to adapt to provide the best service for all our customers. 

‘Where there is no longer enough demand to support a branch, we maintain an in-person presence though our Barclays Local network, live in over 200 locations, based in libraries, town halls, mobile vans and our new banking pods.

‘We also support access to cash with our cashback without purchase service, 24-hour deposit-taking ATMs and by working alongside the Post Office and Cash Access UK.’

Last month HSBC announced it would be closing more than 100 branches this year despite pre-tax profits rising and its boss’s salary increasing to £4.5million, according to reports. 

HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn reportedly had his bonus lifted by 36 per cent

HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn reportedly had his bonus lifted by 36 per cent

The banking giant said those branches closing are serving fewer than 250 people a week, confirming its remaining network will total 327 after the new wave of closures (stock image)

The banking giant said those branches closing are serving fewer than 250 people a week, confirming its remaining network will total 327 after the new wave of closures (stock image)

HSBC previously announced it would axe 114 branches across the UK from April as it blamed the Covid pandemic for a decline in footfall.

The banking giant said those branches closing are serving fewer than 250 people a week, confirming its remaining network will total 327 after the new wave of closures. 

Which are the latest Barclays banks to be closing this year? 

This is the full list of the latest Barclays banks in England, Wales and Scotland earmarked for closure:

4 High Street, Manningtree, England, CO11 1AF – June 7, 2023

6/8 High Street, Ringwood, England, BH24 1BZ – June 8, 2023

58 High Street, Newmarket, England, CB8 8NH – June 9, 2023

10 Bethcar Street, Ebbw Vale, Wales, NP23 6HQ – June 9, 2023

21 Cowgate, Kirkintilloch, Scotland, G66 1HW – June 9, 2023

10 Yorick Road, West Mersea, Colchester, England, CO5 8HX – June 13, 2023

3 Beckenham Road, Beckenham, England, BR3 4ES – June 14, 2023

47 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, CF47 8DL – June 14, 2023

1 Tudor Square, West Bridgford, England, NG2 6BT – June 15, 2023

29 High Street, Mildenhall, England, IP28 7EA – June 14, 2023

21 High Street, Lymington, England, SO41 9YJ – June 15, 2023

35 Notting Hill Gate, London, England, W11 3JR – June 16, 2023

1 Station Road, Knowle, England, B93 0HW – June 16, 2023

137 Brompton Road, London, England, SW3 1QF – July 7, 2023

 

Reports now say that although pre-tax profits for the whole of last year were 17 per cent lower to £14.5billion, higher interest rates helped the bank’s pre-tax profits jump by more than 90 per cent to £4.3billion in the last three months of 2022. 

And according to the Sun, Chief Executive Noel Quinn had his bonus upped by 36 per cent to £1.8million for last year, taking his pay to £4.5million.

He told the newspaper: ‘There will be no easing off at all on costs. We are now considering up to $300million (£247million) of additional costs for severance in 2023.’

The report said this would cover the cost of employees leaving the bank and not being replaced – not redundancies.  

News of the closures come just days after MPs claimed Britain’s four biggest banks were ‘taking advantage’ of loyal customers to boost their profits and chief-executive pay.

The Commons Treasury Committee blasted Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and NatWest for passing on only a fraction of base rate rises to savers.

The MPs have written to bosses of each lender asking them to explain why savings deals are so low when the Bank of England rate has risen from a historic low of 0.1 per cent in December 2021 to four per cent now.

It comes after the banks reported bumper ‘net interest margins’ – the gap between what they charge borrowers and pay savers.

The four biggest banks made £35billion from this gap in 2022, some £6billion more than the previous year.

Their bosses were paid £19.8 million last year: Barclays’ CS Venkatakrishnan received £5.2million, Noel Quinn of HSBC got £5.6million, Charlie Nunn of Lloyds £3.8million and Dame Alison Rose of NatWest £5.2million. 

In the letter to Dame Alison, the MPs pointed out that her pay had risen 46 per cent from £3.6million in 2021.

Bank bosses were questioned by the committee last month on why they were slow to increase savings rates but quick to hike mortgage and loan costs.

Committee chairman Harriett Baldwin, a Tory MP, said: ‘It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that our biggest banks are taking advantage of their most loyal customers to increase profits and chief-executive pay.’

The Commons Treasury Committee blasted Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and NatWest for passing on only a fraction of base rate rises to savers

The Commons Treasury Committee blasted Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and NatWest for passing on only a fraction of base rate rises to savers

The big banks are offering easy-access savings rates below 1 per cent.But ten other smaller providers offer more than 3 per cent on their easy-access accounts. Annual interest on a £10,000 pot at 0.55 pc is just £55, compared to £300 on 3 per cent.

The MPs have questioned how the four big banks determine what proportion of interest rate rises to pass on to their savings customers.

Anna Bowes, from expert rate monitors Savings Champion, said: ‘The banks are renowned for paying some of the lowest savings rates in order to increase profits [They] are making hay while the sun shines as interest rates have risen, allowing them to increase margins.’

Between 2015 and the end of 2022, five of the UK’s biggest banks have shut more than half of their branches, with HSBC being the worst offender.  

Lenders have taken the axe to their bricks-and-mortar network as more households turn to digital banking.

But branches are still vital for the vulnerable, the elderly and those who need face-to-face advice. Critics have lambasted lenders for leaving swathes of society with little access to basic banking services.

Physical locations are likely to become even more important during the cost-of-living crunch, MPs added, as families look for more help with their finance.

HSBC has been the worst affected of Britain's five biggest banks, with 69 per cent of its branches closing since 2015

HSBC has been the worst affected of Britain’s five biggest banks, with 69 per cent of its branches closing since 2015

Data collected by the Mail showed that Britain’s biggest lenders – Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest, HSBC and Santander – had a combined total of 7,553 branches in 2015

Data collected by the Mail showed that Britain’s biggest lenders – Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest, HSBC and Santander – had a combined total of 7,553 branches in 2015 

Data collected by the Mail showed that Britain’s biggest lenders – Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest, HSBC and Santander – had a combined total of 7,553 branches in 2015.

But according to analysis of figures from the consumer rights group Which?, they have shuttered or announced plans to close 4,294 of those locations – 57 per cent – over the past eight years.

HSBC, which has reduced its branch network from around 1,070 to 327, has closed 69 per cent of its UK branches.

Barclays has shut 67 per cent and NatWest 64 per cent.

Alexander Stafford, a Tory MP on the all-party group for fair business banking, said: ‘It is absolutely disgraceful that these banks are pulling up their drawbridges for British customers when we need them the most.

‘Not only does it limit access to essential services, but it cuts jobs when we need them badly. With HSBC closing so many branches one has to ask whether they really care about British customers at all, as it does not seem that way.’



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