Plans by Barclays bank to close its remaining operations in Gibraltar will leave local residents and businesses ‘high and dry’ warned Unite, the trade union for bank workers.
This morning (Thursday) Barclays announced new plans to exit Gibraltar and replace the remaining branch with a ‘fly in’ service based in London. The bank has shrunk its operations in the territory since 2014. Today’s plans will threaten the 14 remaining Barclays' staff with redundancy, but the knock-on impact could be far greater for local residents and small businesses.
This announcement follows Barclays planned exits from both Spain and Portugal, part of the bank’s strategy to exit from so called ‘non-core businesses’ internationally.
Barclays intends to launch what it calls a ‘fly in’ service, operating remotely from London. Unite sees this as part of a wider shift to remote banking across the industry as banks continue to retreat from local communities. Unite has warned the major banks that distancing themselves from the communities they are supposed to serve is fatally undermining their long-term future.
Dominic Hook, Unite National Officer for Finance, said: “Barclays has been a bedrock of Gibraltar’s economy since the 19th Century, but this is being sacrificed as the bank shifts its focus back to the UK mainland and the US.
“If Barclays proceeds with this plan Gibraltar’s residents and businesses will be left high and dry. The loss of vital experience and specialist knowledge built up by local staff over many years simply cannot be replicated remotely from London.
“Unite is calling on Barclays to reconsider this short sighted move and we will continue to support our members throughout this very difficult and uncertain period.”
For more information contact: Ben Norman on Ben.firstname.lastname@example.org or 07525 590 075
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.