Barclays to re-brand Woolwich

24-08-2006

Barclays has announced that it is to re-brand its Woolwich business and close three office sites in a bid to boost its retail banking business.

From February 2007, the Woolwich will become Barclays' UK banking mortgage product brand, moving in-store in all branches.

Woolwich and Barclays branches located within 300 metres or less of each other, representing about ten per cent of the network, will be consolidated into single premises.

Britain's third largest bank said that it did not expect to announce any front-line redundancies as a result of the changes.

However, it revealed that up to 1,200 jobs could be cut as a result of its decision to close three back office sites in Bexleyheath, Kent, Clacton, Essex and Dudley in the West Midlands.

But Barclays stressed that it expected the number of employees to be made redundant to be "significantly fewer" as a result of moves to manage staff turnover and re-deploy workers.

The bank said the financial details of its 18-month restructuring scheme would be announced alongside the publication of its results in August.

Barclays has been struggling to retain its share of the mortgage market since acquiring former building society Woolwich in 2000.

Deanna Oppenheimer, chief executive of Barclay's UK retail banking business, said the changes were part of the company's aim to become "the best bank" in the country.

"Our focus will be on enhancing the Woolwich brand, improving the branch network, and streamlining back office processing," said Ms Oppenheimer.

"Once complete these improvements will make all of our branches available to all of our customers, who will see familiar faces serving them in better looking and better equipped premises," she added.

Amicus national officer Keith Brookes said the union had been consulted over the planned redundancies at Barclays, but was confident the job losses would be dealt with "through natural wastage and re-deployment".


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