Letter: Changing face of the bank manager

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Sir: You quote me as suggesting that Barclays is dispensing with bank managers ('Midland boss defends managers' 23 March). I didn't say this, because it isn't true.

What I did say is that the traditional bank manager of myth no longer exists, and actually has not existed for quite a long time. The number and range of customers Barclays now serves has increased dramatically over recent years. It is not possible for bank managers to have a personal relationship with each and every one, and few customers would want this. For many, 24-hour cash dispensers represent good service while others require home visits from a qualified investment advisor. So we have been forced, like all other industries (and all other banks, whatever they may say) to specialise and use every relevant technological advance in order to provide each customer with what he or she requires.

We have used computerised credit scoring as an aid to decisions in personal lending for some time - with more than 3,800 personal loan applications received every working day, it would be foolhardy not to. We intend to use more sophisticated computer programmes to help managers make decisions on corporate lending in order to minimise our risks. Banking is a more competitive world than it was, and a very much riskier one, in which discipline is more useful than nostalgia.

Yours faithfully,


Chief Executive

Barclays Bank

London, EC3

24 March