Barclays cuts financial services

February 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Barclays bank is to end all of its financial advice service for customers at its branches, putting around 1000 jobs at risk, in a move to focus investment offerings on-line.

According to Barclays, the service has seen a decline in recent years and has become less commercially viable.

One reason for this decision is because Barclays’ customers are increasingly choosing to manage their own investments on-line. This is a trend that is expected to continue to grow, it said.

And following a recent and detailed review of the branch based service, Barclays said that it was unlikely this aspect of business would offer a return, to justify the investment that was needed. This was because of changes to the retail investment marketplace, it added.

The bank is in consultation with the union Unite over the job losses and has said that if the proposals go ahead, it would offer redeployment options with possible opportunities in or outside Barclays.

It is the first of all the high street banks to stop offering customers investment advice at its branches.

In recent weeks the bank launched a new on-line investment service called “Investor Zone”, an educational website aimed at confident on-line customers. The site is user-friendly offering help and advice on financial products. This allows consumers to manage their own portfolio, it explained.

Barclays said that it would continue to provide existing plans and investments that had been taken out by its customers before the closure of the financial service, along with its product and fund management partners.

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