Barclays is to link up with a Blackpool supermarket to launch one of the country’s first in-shop banks.
The new Barclays Bank branch inside the resorts main Asda store will be one of only eight in the country being launched as part of a pilot scheme.
But the move will mean the closure of the Barclays bank on the corner of Lytham Road and Bournemouth Road in South Shore.
And one community leader today blasted the move, saying it was another boost to the supermarket giant and yet another a blow to the traditional high street.
The new branch will open in Asda on Cherry Tree Road, Marton, next March and will offer banking services seven days a week.
Steve Cooper, head of Barclays Retail and Business Bank, said: “We’ve spoken to our customers who use our everyday and business banking services in our branches and they’ve told us their time is precious so would benefit from being able to multi-task, park easily and visit branches with longer opening hours.
“This partnership with Asda means they can do their food shop and bank at the same time, with the opportunity for a new flexible banking experience in a way that’s most convenient for our customers.”
Karen Hubbard, executive director for property at Asda, said: “This is the next step in the evolution of how we continue to make our stores relevant to our customers’ everyday needs, giving them access to banking services to use at their convenience - when they want, and how they want it.
“In partnership with Barclays, we’ll trial banking services in our stores for the communities which need it the most.”
Opening hours are set to be from 8am to 10pm, six days a week, and 10.30 am to 4.30pm on Sundays.
But move is slammed as ‘a loss to the High Street’
Squires Gate ward councillor Douglas Green slammed the move to open the bank inside Asda, branding it a loss to the traditional high street. He said: “Supermarket shoppers can already draw cash out on their cards at the checkouts with cash-back. The main users of banks are small businesses but they don’t really want to be bringing a lot money into a busy supermarket. “We have already lost Natwest and HSBC banks from the Highfield Road shopping area. “Bank managers seem to forget that not everybody has cars or access to the internet, and local services are mostly required by the elderly that cannot get around.”