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Barclays closure reports denied

by EMMA BERTENSHAW [email protected]

Reports last week that Barclays Bank could close its Portugal operations have been denied by the group.

There has been much speculation about cutbacks within the group, which it confirmed in relation to staff and branches but did not reveal numbers.

With a strong presence in the Algarve, the company currently holds an estimate of 2,100 staff and 279 branches in Portugal.

It has been reported recently that Barclays Bank employees had been sent letters by the group offering an “amicable termination of the employment contract”. A spokesman for Barclays Bank said: “This has been done as part of restructuring plans but it is totally up to the employee to decide whether they want to leave the company or not.”

Barclays Portugal told the Algarve Resident in a statement this week that it was “consolidating its position in the country, taking management measures to ensure a healthy operation, prepared for the market growth when that takes place.

“Any decision on Barclays’ part will take into consideration our clients’ interests, and proof of this was the conclusion reached by Multimetrica, which named us Best Bank for Customer Service in Portugal.

“Our growing role in the concession of long term credits to private and business clients is another example.”

Meanwhile, Barclays Group recently released news that the bank has awarded more than 460 of its business customers with SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) leader accreditation.

Vitor Pereira, Head of Segments, Barclays Portugal, said: “SME Leader certification is an instrument which allows us to stand out from our competitors supporting the SMEs to gain more credibility in the market.”

This accreditation is to be backed by the Instituto de Apoio às Pequenas e Médias Empresas (IAPMEI), the National Support Institute for SMEs, and Turismo de Portugal, thereby confirming intentions to remain involved in Portuguese business.

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