LONDON - Barclays Bank is preparing to launch a 24-hour, 365-day-a-year telephone banking service as part of a shake-up of its operations, a British newspaper reported.

According to The Independent, Barclays is looking to the service to help cut costs and improve profits.

Barclays' program, to compete with a similar program offered by Midland Bank since 1989, will offer a wide range of savings and checking transactions by phone.

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