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Barclays to open 70 sites across the UK this year

The first Barclays pod launched in St Austell in June 2022, they are now being rolled out nationally. Photo: Barclays
The first Barclays pod launched in St Austell in June 2022, they are now being rolled out nationally. Photo: Barclays

Barclays (BARC.L) is set to launch banking pods and open 70 local sites across the UK to help customers with their banking.

Under this new plan, the bank will work with local councils and communities to arrange a presence in places such as town halls and libraries, offering in-person banking support.

The sites will for the first time include communities without an existing Barclays presence.

The bank said the format "offers a way of remaining in places where there is no longer enough demand to support a traditional branch".

Each Barclays Local site will also offer free digital skills workshops and fraud and scams awareness events for the community.

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Read more: HSBC branch closures: The full list of 114 banks to shut

Barclays will also start setting up "banking pods" in purpose-built, semi-permanent structures in sites such as shopping centres and retail parks.

At least 10 will be rolled out across the UK by this summer following the success of the bank's first pod in St Austell in Cornwall.

In addition, six electric vehicle (EV) banking vans will be added to the existing fleet of 10, stretching Barclays’ reach to help customers in remote locations.

“Barclays Local provides a flexible way to reach customers in new locations and retain a presence where customer footfall has reduced, bringing face-to-face support to convenient locations,” Jo Mayer, head of Everyday Banking at Barclays UK, said.

“As visits to branches continue to fall, we need to reimagine where and how we show up to provide the best service for customers now and in the future.

Read more: Four new UK banking hubs planned after 587 bank branch closures

“Our new banking pods and community pop-ups help us to tailor our in-person support for each location, including support with digital skills. In areas where we close a branch, we will maintain our presence in that community offering an alternative face-to-face solution.”

The bank set up 200 "Barclays Local" outfits last year under a plan aimed at limiting the impact of branch closures sweeping the industry.

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