Financial IT

Barclays cuts 1,700 jobs as customers turn to technology

Caroline Baldwin

Barclays Bank is planning to cut 1,700 frontline jobs across the UK.

The cuts are part of a strategy to reduce the number of branches as more and more customers use technology to do their banking.

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Barclays currently has 1,577 branches across the country, employing 33,600 staff.

A Barclays spokesperson said technology and automation of services was the reason for the job cuts.

Most Barclays customers now make everyday transactions online, by telephone or via mobile banking. This has been reflected in a reduction in footfall to physical branches, as customers only enter when they need expertise.

“As a result of technological changes, we will be able to provide better service for our customers with fewer staff in our branches. We have outlined a voluntary redundancy scheme for those colleagues who are interested,” said the spokesperson.

Two million people regularly use Barclays' mobile banking service, which the bank said has already led to an 8.4% reduction in call centre volumes.

Additionally, almost half of all consumer lending through Barclays in October 2013 was transacted by customers without visiting a branch.

Its Pingit platform, which allows consumers to transfer money from their mobile, has more than one million registered users, as well as a significant take-up from small businesses.

“At current rates of growth it won't be long before an average of over £1m per day is flowing through Pingit,” Barclays said in a statement.

The Unite union, which represents staff at Barclays, branded the decision a “colossal mistake”, warning that customer service could suffer as a result.

Cashiers, personal bankers, operational specialists, branch managers and assistant manager roles will be cut throughout 2014, according to Unite.


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