Barclays exit will leave Gibraltar residents ‘high and dry’, warns Unite

Plans by Barclays bank to close its remaining operations in Gibraltar will leave local residents and business ‘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, 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 intend 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 have 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 proceed 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.”