Banking giant Barclays - which has three branches in St Helens - will close a quarter of its 1,600 branches in the UK , risking dozens of local jobs, as it aims to slash costs to meet targets, it is reported.
The bank will replace around 400 branches with smaller sites in Asda supermarkets, the Financial Times said
It is also understood to be preparing to axe several hundred jobs at a senior level in its investment banking business, on top of around 1,700 losses made in the division last year.
It comes as high street Lloyds Banking Group also announced plans to shed a further 1,080 jobs across its retail, risk, operations and commercial banking divisions.
The bank has three branches in St Helens, one in Church Street in the town centre, one in Higher Parr Street, and one in Bridge Street, Earlestown.
Barclays’ chief executive Antony Jenkins is leading an overhaul to improve results and repair its tarnished image following the group’s £290 million fine for rigging the Libor rate.
He is expected to set out new financial targets when he presents the bank’s results on February 11.
Last year Mr Jenkins announced that at least 3,700 jobs would be cut to reduce costs by £1.7 billion, and revealed in shareholder meetings last March that the bank was considering using technology and automation to drastically reduce its workforce further.
Yesterday it was revealed Barclays has reportedly also ordered staff to cut out all non-essential overseas travel.
The group has banned employee travel for internal meetings and restricted wider international travel for only essential client and regulator discussions, according to Sky News.
Barclays declined to comment.
The banking group sees potential to reduce staff numbers from 140,000 to 100,000 in the coming years. It has already dropped its association with the Boris Bikes scheme in London, and is thought to be reconsidering its £40 million annual Premier League sponsorship deal.