Barclays expands its flexible banking strategy

Barclays has announced the expansion strategy for its flexible banking formats, as it evolves its physical footprint in response to changing customer needs.

In-person banking assistance is offered by ‘Barclays Local’ in public spaces and brand-new banking pods all throughout the UK.

Barclays expands its flexible banking strategy

The plans include:

  • Expanding Barclays Local by over 70 sites in 2023, in addition to 200 opened in 2022;

  • Entering new locations without an existing Barclays presence;

  • Launch of new banking pods: purpose-built, semi-permanent structures in sites such as shopping centres and retail parks;

  • Commitment to provide alternative in-person service in communities when a branch closes;

  • Scale Barclays’ ‘Cashback without Purchase’ service across the UK, plus investment in industry solutions via the Cash Action Group (CAG).

Barclays keeps changing its physical footprint in response to consumers’ falling use of branch locations and their increasing use of digital banking channels. Under a new sustainable model that is responsive to user demands and usage, Barclays will offer in-person banking service across a variety of solutions in a flexible format, including branches.

Barclays Local, which will have 200 locations open by the end of 2022, already has one of the largest networks of alternative branch forms. In the first half of 2023, Barclays will open an additional 70 locations.

Barclays Local

With the help of local councils and communities, the bank implements the Barclays Local concept, setting up a physical presence and providing in-person banking support in locations like town halls and libraries. Colleagues from Barclays Local support clients in person with their day-to-day financial and money management needs. Each Barclays Local also hosts free courses on digital skills as well as community events to raise awareness of fraud and scams.

The format now provides a means of continuing operations in areas where there is no longer sufficient demand to sustain a regular branch. The approach will now be expanded and deployed into regions where Barclays does not already have a presence, allowing the bank to personally interact with more consumers.

In order to expand its Barclays Local service, Barclays is introducing banking pods. In places like shopping malls and retail parks, the semi-permanent structures offer a separate, private space, and can be shifted based on demand. Following the success of the bank’s first pod in St. Austell, at least ten will be implemented throughout the UK by the summer of 2023. Additionally, to the current ten-vehicle fleet, six electric vehicle (EV) banking vans will be added, allowing Barclays to serve clients in far-flung areas.


Barclays’ commitment to keeping an in-person presence

Depending on demand, Barclays will continue to examine its physical locations, including its branches, pods, and pop-ups. This flexible strategy will allow the bank to better align its presence with local community needs. Due to a decrease in the number of people using traditional branch locations, Barclays is searching for a fresh, new physical structure that will appeal to and resonate with all customers. Building on its current initiative, Barclays also pledges to maintain an alternate in-person presence in places where it shutters a branch.

Barclays will expand its ‘Cashback without Purchase’ program, which was introduced in 2022, as part of efforts to safeguard long-term access to cash. The program has expanded the number of sites where customers can get free cash withdrawals through thousands of small businesses nationwide. One of the main proponents of the Cash Action Group (CAG), which includes industry Banking Hubs – shared workspace used by the big banks one day per week – is Barclays.

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