Fulham Broadway Bank Services Set to Shrink in Spring

Barclays to close and Metro Bank to slash opening hours

Barclays Bank on Fulham Broadway
Barclays Bank on Fulham Broadway

March 18, 2024

Fulham’s already reduced banking services will shrink further this spring, with Barclays announcing it will close its Broadway branch in May and Metro Bank cutting its opening hours from the end of this month.

Barclays’ impending closure, on Thursday 23 May follows a string of departures from North End Road, including Chelsea Building Society in 2016, Santander in 2021 and Nationwide Building Society in October last year.

The bank’s announcement, posted online and on a notice on the front door of its Fulham Centre branch, surprised many local customers as the site had recently undergone extensive modernisation. It will become one of around 80 branches closing their doors as part of plans by the bank to cut its costs by £2 billion.

The bank’s announcement, headlined “We’re closing, but it’s not goodbye” says: “Back when we opened this branch, visiting us in person was one of the only ways to do your banking.

“Now, as there are lots of ways to manage your money without even leaving your home, we’re seeing many customers choosing to bank using our app, and Online or Telephone Banking. This has had a big impact on the number of customers coming in to see us.

“When deciding whether to close this branch, we looked carefully at how it’s been used and how customers are banking in other ways. 96% of people who use our branch have also banked using the app, online and by phone in 2022. Less than ten customers use this branch regularly as the only way to do their banking.

“33% of this branch’s customers have used nearby branches in the last 12 months. We’ll be working with the local community to understand the impact of closing this branch.”

The nearest branches of Barclays are in Hammersmith’s King Street and Kensington High Street, both of which have escaped the axe. You can read the bank's full statement with advice for customers here.

Metro Bank meanwhile, which was bailed out last autumn by a rescue plan worth £925 million and is now partially owned by Colombian billionaire Jaime Gilinski Bacal, has tripled its cost saving plan to £80 million, achieved by cutting 1,000 jobs and ending the convenient seven day service which was one of its biggest selling points when it launched in 2010.

Metro Bank on Fulham Broadway
Metro Bank on Fulham Broadway

From March 29, the Fulham Broadway branch will only be open on weekdays, though still offering the longest daily opening hours of any local bank, from 9.30am till 5pm.

Other banks have also slashed opening hours, with no services now available at weekends. Halifax has the most restricted opening times, from 9am till 3pm, Monday to Friday, while Lloyds is open from 9am till 3.30pm.

NatWest is open from 9.30 till 4.3pm each weekday except on Wednesday when it opens at 10am and HSBC is open from 9.30am till 4.30pm, though following its recent refurbishment it describes itself as a “digital service branch” with no counter service available.

With these remaining branches all now situated in a cluster around the Broadway, and banks continuing to try and save costs, there is a growing possibility that Fulham in future may be served by a single banking hub.

Banking hubs are shared spaces set up by Cash Access UK, which is a non-profit company owned by nine major banks, including Barclays, Lloyds, NatWest, HSBC and Santander. The hubs are run by the Post Office and offer personal and business customers of all the participating banks regular banking services in a single location.

A Banking Hub in Acton
A Banking Hub in Acton

They also offer a Community Banker service where customers can talk to their own banking provider about more complicated banking issues.

London’s first hub was launched last summer in Acton’s shopping centre The Oaks, and has become the scheme’s busiest location. The Labour Party’s Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, has also pledged to support the rollout across Britain's high streets in the future.

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