Digesting the Digits – Barclays in the spotlight over staff cuts and branch closures 

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Number crunching is a key component of the payment industry, with digits scattered across the sector’s key stories. 

Each week, Payment Expert digests these digits and brings an overview of the past payments week in numbers. This edition looks at the recent moves by high-street bank Barclays as the Christmas season picks up speed. 

Union questions Barclays over 900 staff cuts

Barclays has come under scrutiny by trade union Unite after news surfaced regarding the alleged cuts of approximately 900 people working for the bank. 

Unite has warned that the layoffs will affect the administrative operations of Barclays, including finance, compliance, legal, IT and more. 

The union’s General Secretary Sharon Graham described the situation as ‘disgraceful’ given that the developments are taking place in the Christmas period.


Barclays continues branch closure spree with 18 new locations

Shortly after the Unite conundrum, Barclays announced that it has planned a total of 18 branch closures across the UK, most of which will take place in May next year.

This is in addition to the already scheduled closure of 16 locations in the upcoming February.

A spokesperson for Barclays commented: “Where there is no longer enough demand to support a branch, we maintain an in-person presence through our Barclays Local network, live in over 300 locations, based in libraries, town halls, mobile vans and our new banking pods.”


Denmark announces 1,000 Krone banknote phase out

Denmark’s Central Bank has laid out its financial strategy starting from 2025, confirming that the 1,000 Krone – the country’s largest value note – will be gradually phased out.

Further information revealed that the four oldest note types, issued before 2009, will be replaced by printing a new series of banknotes.

Christian Kettel Thomsen, Governor of Danmarks Nationalbank, said: “With the Danes’ changed payment habits, there is no longer a need for the 1000 Krone banknote, and, in practice, it can even be difficult to use for payments.”


FCA warns of loan fee fraudsters as 47% of UK adults worried about their budget

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has revealed that loan fee fraud is becoming increasingly common in time for the holidays as people are searching for additional funds to spend over their means.

A new report by the regulator has unveiled that close to half of UK adults are unsure if they’ll meet their spending expectations, which is something that loan fee fraudsters will look to capitalise on.

Matt Dronfield, Managing Director of Debt Free Advice, said: “Many of our clients are already burdened by the weight of utility bill debt, imposed by the ongoing cost of living crisis. Holiday-induced debt can have far-reaching consequences, affecting families’ financial stability, mental health, and overall well being.”

FINTRAC hands over $7.5m fine to Canada’s RBC

A financial penalty of $7.5m has been issued to the Royal Bank of Canada by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

The cause relates to alleged administrative AML shortcomings in the bank’s operations taking place in 2022. 

Sarah Paquet, FINTRAC’s Director and CEO, commented: “FINTRAC will continue to work with businesses to help them understand and comply with their obligations under the Act.

“We will also be firm in ensuring that businesses continue to do their part and we will take appropriate actions when they are needed.”