Bank denies mass closures

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St Helens workers may face an uncertain future as a banking giant with several borough locations said it will have fewer “traditional branches”.

But Barclays denied speculation that it plans to close up to a quarter of its 1,600 sites across the UK.

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.

A spokesman said: “We have no plans to announce significant reductions to our UK branch network.

“Increasing use of technology is changing the way in which customers choose to do their banking and creates opportunities for Barclays to offer services in new ways, complementing the branch network.

“We have consistently been clear that, over time, there will be fewer traditional branches as we move to provide banking services to customers where and when they find it most convenient.

“However, the branch network will remain an important part of our banking service and we will never leave a community without the ability to transact.”

It was reported this week that the banking giant has plans in place to replace around 400 branches with smaller sites in Asda supermarkets. And the group is also thought to be reconsidering its £40m annual sponsorship of the Premier League.

Chief executive Antony Jenkins will set out financial targets when he presents the bank’s results on February 11.