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Barclays to open Asda branches


By Ali Carey

Supermarket shoppers who bank with Barclays will get a one-stop-shop service next year.

Eight Barclays branches will open in Asda stores across West Yorkshire, East Kent, Cheshire and Hertfordshire early in 2014.

The service will match store opening hours, offering late-night and seven-days-a-week banking.

Barclays said the arrangement will not only offer greater flexibility and convenience for customers but also ensure they have parking access when visiting their bank.

Pilot to be extended to eight branches

The layout and location of in-store banking services will ensure privacy for banking customers, the bank claims.

Asda Birchwood in Cheshire will be the first store to get Barclays banking, in February.

Trading hours will be seven days a week - from 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am - 4.30pm on Sundays.

Three more facilities will then open at Asda stores in Broadstairs in East Kent, North Watford in Hertfordshire and Pudsey in West Yorkshire.

Barclays aims to extend the pilot to a total of eight branches, with the locations of the other branches expected to be announced shortly. All eight branches will open early in 2014, Barclays says.

Seven-day switching rules

Marks & Spencer already offers banking services that match the store opening hours, which it has been rolling out across stores since 2012.

Customers using M&S Bank can continue shopping until the bank's pager service alerts them that they are next in the queue.

New rules which came into force in September allow current account holders to switch their bank within seven days and this has had the effect of increasing competition between banks.

The process previously took up to 30 working days. Various offers and deals have been introduced by banks to entice customers to switch, and have all their incoming and outgoing payments automatically transferred to their new account.

Head of Barclays retail and business bank, Steve Cooper, said: "We've spoken to our customers who use our everyday and business banking services in our branches and they've told us their time is precious so would benefit from being able to multi-task, park easily and visit branches with longer opening hours."

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