Barclays to shut 41 bank branches in 2023 - 15 new closures revealed - Which? News (2023)

Barclays has announced an additional 15 branches are set to close this year, bringing the total number of closures in 2023 to 41.

As it stands, by the end of 2023 Barclays will have closed 1,001 branches since 2015.

Last year, Barclays closed 184 branches - the second highest of all the banks, with Lloyds Banking Group (which includes Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland) shutting 186 sites.

It's worth noting that there could be more branch closure announcements from Barclays, as the current list of closures are all set to take place before May.

Here, Which? takes a closer look at which branches are closing, and what measures are in place to protect cash access.

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Which Barclays branches are closing in 2023?

The table below shows the locations of all Barclays branches due to close in 2023. You can use the search bar to see if your local branch is affected:

Here are the locations of the Barclays branches that closed or were due to close in 2022.

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Why are these branches closing?

Barclays said its customers' behaviour has changed significantly in recent years, with more people choosing to bank online.

The bank said it will continue to review its physical sites, including branches, pods and pop-up services

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.

'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.'

Here are the initiatives launched by Barclays to replace its physical branches which will be closing

Barclays Local

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

It provides face-to-face assistance and offers free digital skills workshops and fraud scams awareness events.

There are currently 200 of these locations and an additional 70 will open in the fast half of this year. The bank will also look at introducing these locations in areas where it doesn't have an existing presence.

Banking pods

Barclays is also launching banking pods as part of its Barclays Local service.

The semi-permanent structures provide a dedicated, private space in locations such as shopping centres and retail parks and can be moved depending on demand.

The bank said at least 10 would be rolled out by summer following the success of its first pod in St Austell, Cornwall. The new locations have not yet been revealed.

There will also be six electric vehicle banking vans will be added to the existing fleet of 10, enabling Barclays to reach customers in remote locations.

Cashback without purchase

Barclays also offers its own cashback without purchase scheme, which allows businesses with a Barclaycard Payments terminal to offer customers from any bank up to £100 per day without needing to make a purchase.

Unlike ATMs, you can also receive coins. Participating businesses should have a 'cashback without purchase' sticker displayed in the window - so keep a look out.

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  • Find out more:best and worst banks

Which other banks are closing in 2023?

Barclays isn't the only bank to announce closures in 2023. Almost all major high street banks have sites earmarked for closure, and more could follow.

HSBC is due to close 114 sites this year, and NatWest is due to close 66 branches.

Lloyds Banking Group has revealed 59 closures for 2023. TSB will close nine branches, Santander will close five sites and Nationwide has two banks scheduled to close.

To find out whether your local bank branch is closing, or has recently closed, our bank branch closure checker tool shows the branches shutting down in your local authority area.

Which banks closed the most branches in 2022?

Lloyds Banking Group announced the most branches last year, with 186 announced. This was closely followed by Barclays, with 184 branches:

  • Barclays: 184
  • Danske Bank: 4
  • HSBC: 70
  • Lloyds Group (includes Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland): 186
  • NatWest (including Royal Bank of Scotland sites): 83
  • Nationwide: 22
  • Metro Bank: 3
  • Santander: 1
  • TSB: 70

Find out more: is your local bank branch closing?

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Why cash still matters

Cash is the second most frequently-used method of payment in the UK. Used by 5.4 million adults, it also provides a lifeline for vulnerable groups.

In fact, cash usage increased for the first time in 13 years in 2022, according to data from Nationwide Building Society. There were 30.2m cash withdrawals from Nationwide ATMs last year - a 19% increase compared to 2021.

Research by Which? last year found cash can be a useful budgeting tool for households during the cost of living crisis, and people in remote areas may not have reliable broadband or mobile connectivity for digital payments.

It's also a vital lifeline for the elderly, who are more likely to visit bank branches in person.

What's being done to protect access to cash?

Here are some of the cash solutions that have been announced or put in place since our campaign began:

Legislation announced in Queen’s Speech

First announced in the Queen’s Speech in May last year, the forthcoming legislation will ensure people can continue to conveniently withdraw and deposit cash. This will be monitored and enforced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

However, the Scottish Affairs Committee of MPs has accused banks of 'rushing to close [branches] before legislation to protect access to cash and banking services can take effect'.

With its new powers, the FCA could stop banks and building societies from closing cash access services if there was no suitable alternative within a reasonable distance.

Which? is pushing for there to be a requirement that access to cash is free.

  • Find out more: 6 things you need to know about new bill to protect cash access and scam victims

Reviews by LINK to commission new cash services

In December 2021, the Cash Action Group (CAG) announced that any community facing the closure of a core cash service, such as a bank branch or ATM, will trigger an independent review by Link.

Link will determine whether a new solution should be provided and will have the power to commission services, such as a shared banking hub or better Post Office services, to meet the cash needs of the community as a whole – not just the customers of one bank or building society.

Out of the 15 new closures revealed by Barclays, three banking hubs have been recommended in Watton in Norfolk, Oakham in the East Midlands and Heywood in Rochdale.

  • Find out more:access to cash solutions - are they enough?

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Post Office services

Since January 2020, customers of certain banks have been able to use Post Office branches to withdraw and deposit cash in their accounts and make balance queries. Most banks will also allow you to deposit cheques.

This service, described as a 'lifeline' by the Post Office, means that people can still access essential services, even if their local bank branch has shut.

The service will run until December 2025, after a new agreement was signed with 30 banks in February.

  • Find out more: Post Office will offer banking services for 30 banks

Cashback without purchase

This initiative allows people to request cashback at the till in their local convenience store, without needing to make a purchase or pay a fee. It became possible last summer after a change in legislation.

A commercial scheme, operated by LINK, was rolled out at the end of 2021 and is available in 2,000 stores.

You can find out where this service is on offer by using LINK's cash locator on its website or mobile app. Just type in your location, and search for the orange symbols which state 'CT'.

  • Find out more:cashback without purchase expands

This article was first published on 30 May 2022 and has been updated since then. It was last updated on 30 January to reflect 15 further branch closures.


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