Things are not going too well for some of the world’s biggest banks. Barclays will close another 15 branches in the coming months. It brings the total number of closed branches to 84 for the year, although more may follow in H2 2022.
More Closing Barclays Branches
It is unfortunate to see even fewer customers will have face-to-face interactions with their bank. While there is substantial demand for digital and electronic banking solutions, not everything can be resolved via a computer or mobile device. Moreover, older generates of customers rely on that personal contact to settle their affairs. As a result, Barclays is intent on closing as many branches as possible to reduce overhead costs.
Earlier in 2022, the bank announced 13 closures. That number increased to 40 in May and 69 in June. Another 15 have been added in July, indicating there may be more branches to be closed later this year. Per Barclays, these closures are the result of shifting consumer trends. Less than 10% of transactions occur in person, negating the need for physical locations and staff.
If this rate keeps up, the bank will close just under 150 branches this year alone. That may seem like an insignificant number, but it poses growing issues for those with little or no digital means. Additionally, Barclays acknowledges that 70% of its activity can be done online, but that still leaves 30% to be completed via other means. Whether that warrants closing so many branches will be a matter of debate.
Unfortunately, this trend will only become more outspoken across the global banking industry. Over 500 branches will be closed across the UK this year alone, with similar trends affecting the US, most of Europe, and even Asia. Per reports by Which?, over half of the UK bank branch network has disappeared since 2015.