Barclays has announced that it will close 14 of its branches, dealing another blow to the struggling high streets of the UK. The company will close 11 branches across England, two in Wales, and one in Scotland.
This comes after Barclays had previously announced that 41 banks would close this year, including five that had already shut. The latest closures mean that 55 Barclays sites will close for good in 2023.
According to a Barclays spokesperson, as visits to branches continue to fall, the company needs to adapt to provide the best service for all its customers.
The spokesperson also noted that where there is no longer enough demand to support a branch, they maintain an in-person presence through their Barclays Local network, which is available in over 200 locations based in libraries, town halls, mobile vans, and their new banking pods.
Additionally, they support access to cash with their cashback without purchase service, 24-hour deposit-taking ATMs, and by working alongside the Post Office and Cash Access UK.
The announcement of the closures comes just days after MPs claimed that the UK’s four biggest banks were “taking advantage” of loyal customers to boost their profits and CEO 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 the 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% in December 2021 to 4% today.
The four biggest banks made £35 billion from the gap between what they charge borrowers and pay savers, known as the net interest margin, in 2022, which was £6 billion more than the previous year.
Their bosses were paid £19.8 million last year, with Barclays’ CS Venkatakrishnan receiving £5.2 million, Noel Quinn of HSBC receiving £5.6 million, Charlie Nunn of Lloyds receiving £3.8 million, and Dame Alison Rose of NatWest receiving £5.2 million.
The MPs have questioned how the four big banks determine what proportion of interest rate rises to pass on to their savings customers.
Smaller providers are offering more than 3% on their easy-access accounts, while the big banks are offering easy-access savings rates below 1%.