Barclays UK chairman opens new flagship branch after multi-million pound digital renovation

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  • Sir Ian Cheshire, Chairman of Barclays UK, has officially opened the bank’s new flagship branch in Belfast City Centre after the site recently underwent a digitally-focused refit worth over £2million.

    The Castle Place branch now boasts the very latest in banking technology, as well as traditional counters and self-service tills, improving services for customers and providing a better banking experience.

    The renovation is part of an ongoing Barclays initiative to revolutionise its branch network. Since 2008, the banking giant has invested more than £700m across the UK in designing innovative bank branches, making it easier for customers to get things done quickly and freeing up staff time to help customers with the bigger financial moments in their lives.  

    Castle Place is one of nine branches in Northern Ireland, with others in Coleraine, Ballymena, Ballyhackamore, Newtownards, Bangor, Lisburn, Portadown and Newry.

    Speaking today from the Castle Place branch, Sir Ian Cheshire said: “Barclays is committed to helping customers thrive in an increasingly digital world, providing the latest banking technology in our new flagship branch. But more than that, it’s also about our people – customers can benefit from the expertise of our Digital Eagles, Barclays staff who can give practical support to customers who are less confident with technology.”

    Last year signalled a landmark year for Barclays in Northern Ireland, with the bank firmly establishing its position with businesses of all sizes in the local market, from start-ups to PLCs.

    The Barclays Retail Banking business reported growth of 10% year on year, with the Barclays Mortgages book now bigger than some of its main competitors. Meanwhile, the Corporate Banking division also reported success, growing by 20% in 2017 and increasing its presence in the SME market.

    Sir Ian Cheshire continued: “We also opened our first Eagle Lab in Northern Ireland in June of last year, an entrepreneurial hub specifically designed to help the growing digital and IT sector with important, valuable links to the Eagle Lab network throughout the UK, and launched Barclays LifeSkills with help from Business in the Community, aiming to offer vital work skills to over 20,000 young people from deprived local communities.”

    Present at the opening was one of Barclays Northern Ireland’s chosen charities of the year, Inspire Wellbeing, a social enterprise with the aim of promoting mental health wellbeing across Ireland. The local Barclays branch network collectively raised over £10,000 for Inspire in 2017.

    Professor Peter McBride, Chief Executive, Inspire Wellbeing, said: “The relationship between Barclays and Inspire is an example of a truly embedded charity partnership. Not only has the great Barclays team raised over £10,000 for our charity, they have also gone that extra mile by volunteering at many of our services, getting to know our service users and having that important conversation about mental health.

    “In addition, they are supporters of our ‘Change Your Mind’ mental health anti-stigma campaign and are helping break the stigma around mental health in the wider community.”

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