Tech Transformers

Bank branches will be 'as common as a Blockbuster' store, ex-Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins says

Key Points
  • Former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins said bank branches will be "as common as a Blockbuster video store in a few years time".
  • In 2015, Jenkins said 50 percent of bank branches will close in 10 years, but that trend is moving faster than he expected.

Bank branches will be "as common as a Blockbuster video store in a few years' time", former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins told CNBC on Monday, adding that his prediction about mass closures of physical banks is happening faster than he thought.

Jenkins, who now runs a fintech (financial technology) firm called 10X, warned banks of the impact of not keeping up with technological innovation. The ex-Barclays boss, who left the bank in July 2015, said artificial intelligence (AI) will have a profound impact on banking that could mean branches become obsolete.

In 2015, Jenkins predicted that banks could close half of their branches and workforce in 10 years. But this trend is happening faster than the fintech expert initially thought.

"I mean the trend is moving even faster than I predicted in the U.K., now we're seeing 15 percent of branch traffic falling per annum. That's a huge effect," Jenkins told CNBC in a TV interview at the Money 20/20 conference in Copenhagen.

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"It's going to mean that bank branches are as common as a Blockbuster video store in a few years' time."

Blockbuster stores are non-existent in the U.K. after the video rental company failed to see the streaming trend pioneered by the likes of Netflix. This trend was seen earlier this year when both Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland announced branch closures.

Jenkins told CNBC in the same interview that banks are now facing a potential "Kodak moment" where banks become irrelevant because they don't keep up with new technology.

"Banks can avoid that, but they have to act now, and what they really need to do is think about innovation, but also transformation, doing something radically different," Jenkins said.