Barclays is planning to close around 200 high street branches in the UK and cut 1,203 jobs, the bank has revealed.
It quickly pointed out that it would not be pulling out of any areas currently served by Barclays. The bank is still infamous for a 2000 decision to close 171 branches in one day.
It has pledged there will be no repeat of the public relations disaster. Instead, the closures will consolidate branches of Woolwich and Barclays within 300 metres of each other.
The plan will affect about ten per cent of its 2,029 retail bank sites.
All Woolwich branches are to be re-branded Barclays, although the name will live on in Barclays stores as its main brand of mortgages, which will be unaffected by the change.
Woolwich savers and current account holders will be gradually shifted over to Barclays products, however ñ alarming some, as Barclays currently does not offer equivalent interest payments.
All best mortgage rate deals from Woolwich will remain the same, however. One analyst expressed surprise that the Barclays drive to closer integration had not happened sooner.
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