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Gocompare.com comments on Barclays move to close a quarter of branches in favour of supermarket based outlets

29 January 2014

Matt Sanders, banking spokesperson at Gocompare.com commented on the news that Barclays is to close a quarter of its existing branches in favour of 400 new branches based in ASDA stores:

“Barclays raised some eyebrows last November when they announced a pilot scheme to close four of their high street branches and relocate them to ASDA stores. This latest announcement will see even more Barclays branches close their doors in favour of smaller supermarket based outlets, and will naturally pique the interest of some customers and investors.

“The face of banking has dramatically shifted over the past decade and vast majority of customers have become accustomed to the flexibility of banking at home, or on their phone. However, if supermarket-based branches can deliver more convenient opening hours for those who work weekdays, as well as increasing the ease of access for customers by utilising supermarket car parking, then maybe customers will be inclined to visit their branch on a more regular basis.

“It remains to be seen what the Barclays customers will think of the move or whether the UK will embrace supermarket based banking like the US has. Though, this latest announcement would suggest the pilot scheme last year was a success. If the move does prove to be a popular one, then we can expect to see more big name bank branches next to the checkouts, which will surely put supermarkets which offer a range of banking services, like Tesco, in the dilemma of choosing between giving floor space to a rival bank or creating physical branches for their online banking services.”