Business

Barclays opens new £2m digital branch in Belfast

Sir Ian Cheshire, Barclays UK chairman, right, is pictured with Peter McBride, chief executive of Inspire Wellbeing and Joanna McArdle, Barclays relationship director. The bank has raised £10,000 for Inspire in 2017.
Gareth McKeown

BARCLAYS Bank has opened a new £2 million flagship branch in Belfast after reporting a 10 per cent jump in its retail business in Northern Ireland.

The long-standing branch at Castle Street recently underwent a digitally-focused refit and now boast the 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 and since 2008 more than £700m has been invested across the UK.

Last year was a landmark 12 months 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 per cent year on year, with the Barclays mortgages book now bigger than some of its main competitors, while the corporate banking division also reported success, growing by 20 per cent in 2017 and increasing its presence in the SME market.

Speaking at the opening of the Castle Place branch, Barclays UK chairman, Sir Ian Cheshire said the bank's latest investment was with the future in mind.

“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.”

In addition to reporting growth, Barclays also opened its first Eagle Lab in Northern Ireland in June, an entrepreneurial hub specifically designed to help the growing digital and IT sector

Opened at Ormeau Baths in Belfast, it is one of over a dozen Eagle Labs across the UK, including Salford, London and Cambridge.

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