The Scottish Mail on Sunday
£6bn profit but Barclays plans closures
BARCLAYS will launch a drive to shut branches this month – just as it posts its highest profits in four years.
The bank is set to close 20 branches over a 13-week period after it announces annual profits of £6billion on Thursday.
The closures will begin on February 21 when Barclays will shut its Perry Barr branch in Birmingham.
Dominic Hook, of the Unite union, said: ‘It is time for the banking industry to stop abandoning the local communities which bring the sector its vast profits.
‘None of the new technologies replace the experience and skill of bank branch staff.
‘No app or website can provide some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society with the face-to-face financial assistance they need.’
Analysts expect Barclays to reveal that profit before tax rose by six per cent to £6billion last year. Revenues struggled to gain ground due to low interest rates, rising just 1.9 per cent to £21.5 billion.
A Barclays spokesman said: ‘We continue to have the largest branch network out of any of the high street banks.
‘We always work closely with local communities on any proposed changes.’