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Barclays to close 178 branches in 2022: 18 closures announced in August

Find out if your local bank branch will be shutting its doors this year 
Closed Barclays branch

Barclays bank has revealed 18 new branch closures in August, on top of the 28 it confirmed in July, and many others earlier in the year.

Since the start of 2022, the bank has already closed dozens of its branches. Based on its current schedule, by the end of the year it will have closed 178 sites. 

Barclays told us more of its customers were doing their banking via digital channels, and less than 10% of its transactions were done in person. 

Here, Which? takes a closer look at which branches are closing, and what measures are in place to protect cash access.

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Which Barclays branches are closing?

Here are the locations of the Barclays branches that will be closing in the remainder of the year. You can use the search bar to see if your local branch is affected.

Why are these branches closing?

Barclays said it would continue to review and adjust its branch network to ensure it reflected the way its customers do their banking.

It said it had 10m digital customers, and 70% of its activity can be done digitally. 

A spokesman added: ‘We will always give 12 weeks’ notice of any branch closures, explaining the rationale for the decision, as well as highlighting alternative branches and ways to bank. 

‘This includes working with the local community to find different, more flexible ways for our colleagues to continue to provide local banking support, such as through pop-up presences.’ 

Barclays confirmed to Which? it has 50 pop-up sites in local spaces, such as community centres, libraries and business hubs. It says it will look at solutions in future that will be part of a ‘flexible sustainable model’, such as smart ATMS, which can do more than just dispense cash.

More than 650 bank branches will close across 2022

Barclays is not the only bank that is closing sites. This year, 652 branches will close, and 15 are already earmarked to shut their doors in 2023. 

Which? has been tracking these closures since 2015, and during this period half of the UK’s bank branch network has closed. 

To see how these are split between the UK banks, the list below sets out how many branches each bank has already closed in 2022, how many more it plans to close by the end of the year. 

  • Barclays: 89 closed; 89 scheduled to close
  • Danske Bank: Four branches scheduled to close 
  • HSBC: 25 closed; 45 scheduled to close 
  • Lloyds group (includes Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland): 97 closed; 89 scheduled to close, plus 15 more in 2022
  • NatWest (including Royal Bank of Scotland sites): 55 closed; 28 scheduled to close 
  • Nationwide: Seven closed and 11 scheduled to close 
  • Metro Bank: Three closed 
  • Santander: One branch scheduled to close
  • TSB: 70 closed
  • Ulster Bank (owned by the NatWest group): Nine scheduled to close
  • Virgin Money: 30 closed. 

Find out more: is your local bank branch closing?

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Why cash still matters

Cash is the second most frequently-used method of payment in the UK. Used by 5.4 million adults, it also provides a lifeline for vulnerable groups.

Recent research by Which? found cash can be a useful budgeting tool for households during the cost of living crisis, and people in remote areas may not have reliable broadband or mobile connectivity for digital payments.

It's also a vital lifeline for the elderly, who are more likely to visit bank branches in person. 

What's being done to protect access to cash?

Here are some of the cash solutions that have been announced or put in place since our campaign began. 

Legislation announced in Queen’s Speech 

In May during the Queen’s Speech, the government pledged to bring forward a Financial Services and Markets Bill

Part of this legislation includes making sure people across the UK can access their own cash with ease. 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be given new powers over the UK’s biggest banks and building societies to help protect the future of cash. These powers will allow the FCA to address cash access issues at both a national and local level. 

However, separate rules will apply in Northern Ireland, as the banking market works differently. 

The FCA will also be given oversight of coordinating bodies, with powers to access information from designated firms and organisations involved in the provision of cash. 

Reviews by LINK to commission new cash services 

The Cash Action Group (CAG) is a group which includes eight major banks, as well as the likes of Age UK and the Post Office.

In December, the CAG announced that any community facing the closure of a core cash service, such as a bank branch or ATM, will trigger an independent review by LINK - the UK's main ATM operator.

LINK will determine whether a new solution should be provided and will have the power to commission services, such as a shared banking hub or better Post Office services to meet the cash needs of the community as a whole - not just the customers of one bank or building society. 

Out of all of the Barclays closures announced, no additional services have been recommended by LINK. 

It’s unclear what will happen to CAG once government legislation comes into force. However, the government did say in light of the significant role that coordination bodies - such as LINK - play in the future of cash provision, it intends to designate such bodies for oversight by the FCA. 

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Post Office services 

Since January 2020, customers of certain banks have been able to use Post Office branches to withdraw and deposit cash in their accounts and make balance queries. Most banks will also allow you to deposit cheques. 

This service, described as a 'lifeline' by the Post Office, means that people can still access essential services, even if their local bank branch has shut. 

The service will run until December 2025, after a new agreement was signed with 30 banks in February. 

Cashback without purchase 

This initiative allows people to request cashback at the till in their local convenience store, without needing to make a purchase or pay a fee. It became possible last summer after a change in legislation. 

A commercial scheme, operated by LINK, was rolled out at the end of 2021 and is available in 2,000 stores.

You can find out where this service is on offer by using LINK's cash locator on its website or mobile app. Just type in your location, and search for the orange symbols which state 'CT'.

'Cash is a vital lifeline'

Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, said: 'Barclays is right to say that consumers' banking habits are becoming more digital. However, there remains a significant minority, for whom cash is a vital lifeline to pay for everyday essentials and keep track of their spending, that aren't yet ready or willing to make that switch. 

'While proposals put forward by the banking industry to protect access to cash, such as enhanced Post Offices, were welcome, government legislation to underpin them was vital.

'Now that legislation has been announced, the government must hand the Financial Conduct Authority the powers to ensure that when local communities lose a bank branch, their cash needs are still met.'

This article was first published on 30 May 2022 and has been updated since then. It was last updated on 15 August 2022 to reflect the additional 8 bank branches set to close this year.