By Sabela Ojea 
 

Barclays PLC (BARC.LN) on Tuesday said that it has postponed a decision on closing 105 branches in remote areas of the U.K. until October 2021 as it looks for ways to boost their profitability.

The London-listed bank said it will start testing twelve branches--five in Yorkshire and Wales, with more to be announced--to see if customer demand can be increased to make the branches more viable in the longer term before making a final decision.

The trial will include flexible opening hours and technology services as video banking, the bank said.

Barclays declined to comment on how many jobs could be at risk if any of those 105 branches were to close.

The bank also said its customers across the U.K. would no longer be able to withdraw cash from post offices as of January 2020. It said that "no one will be left in a position where they can't withdraw cash," as it is investing in ATMs and launching a new cashback plan that will allow customers to withdraw money at businesses.

"We are considering whether we need to use our regulatory powers to further ensure public commitments about the ongoing availability of access to free-to-use ATMs for U.K. consumers are met," a spokesperson for the U.K.'s Payment Systems Regulator said.

 

Write to Sabela Ojea at sabela.ojea@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 08, 2019 09:45 ET (13:45 GMT)

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