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Barclays ‘disappoints’ and pulls out of Gibraltar

Barclays will close its remaining office in Gibraltar, ending its physical presence here after 127 years and leaving its last 16 locally-resident employees out of a job.

The decision had been widely anticipated and will have little practical impact on local consumers because the bank had already wound down the parts of its business that dealt with the Gibraltar market.

But it deals a heavy blow to a skeleton staff that had committed to help Barclays retain a small presence on the Rock and who now face an uncertain future.

Yesterday, the Gibraltar Government issued a stern reaction to the news and expressed solidarity with the workers.

“Barclays is principally letting them and their families down after many of them will have decided or been forced to stay with the bank at the time of its withdrawal from the retail banking sector in Gibraltar,” No 6 Convent Place said in a statement.

The bank’s move was also slammed by Unite the Union, which said the closure would hit employees hard and leave local residents and businesses “high and dry”.

The union called on Barclays to reconsider the decision, which comes less than a year after the closure the banks Main Street retail branch.

Barclays has been winding down its operations here since 2014 but had retained 14 permanent staff and two contract workers to run a small operation focused on large companies and the super wealthy.

But that office will be closed in the coming months as part of a “strategic restructuring and simplification” of the Barclays Group that will also impact on its presence in Cyprus.

The majority of Barclays’ clients in Gibraltar have bank accounts based in London and Jersey and will continue to receive banking services, the bank said.

“The only change is that the relationship point will now come from a team based in London, operating on a ‘fly in’ basis as required,” the bank’s vice president for government relations, Theo Leonard, said in an email sent to officials here and seen by the Chronicle.

Employees in Gibraltar were informed of the development early yesterday morning ahead of a public announcement.

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