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Woolwich customers to move to Barclays during 2007

As a result more than 3.5 million (98%) of Woolwich savers will see their interest rates increase or remain the same. At the same time the savings range will be simplified with 14 Woolwich savings accounts moving into seven Barclays accounts.  Savers will be invited to a free review where they can explore alternative account options if they wish.  In total, Woolwich savers will benefit from more than £19 million additional interest. There will be no break in service or change in interest rates for the 2 million Woolwich current account customers.  These customers can continue to use their Woolwich debit card and cheque book until their new Barclays debit card and cheque book arrive.  All standing orders, direct debits and salary credits will be automatically moved to their new account to make the process simple for customers. Customers will be contacted individually around three months before any changes are made to their branch and two months in advance of any product change.  The first letters will be received by customers in January 2007.  Letters will then be sent progressively over the course of 2007.  All changes will have been made by the end of 2007.  Catharine French, UK Retail Customer Services Director for Barclays, said:  "This is good news for our Woolwich customers.  Many will see their interest rates rise and all will have far greater access to branches, including the ability to bank with Barclays through their local Post Office.  Customers will also have a far wider range of retail products to choose from. The move is complex behind the scenes but we aim to make it simple for our customers.”