NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Barclays ( BCS) has bought 8,500 iPads for its branch network in the U.K, The Register reported, in one of the biggest roll outs of the tablet in the U.K. finance sector. A spokesperson for the bank that has been plagued with scandal for the greater part of this year said that the staff had shown a clear preference for the iPad over other tablets, according to the report. The iPad will be used to "assist our branch colleagues to interact with customers , improving the customer experience." Barclays will use an app called Mortgage Brain that was specifically designed for the iPad and is co-owned by six banks including Barclays Woolwich, RBS, Virgin Money, Santander, Lloyds and Nationwide. The purchase was made through dealer Insight UK, who confirmed that there was "significant interest in the take up of Apple iPads in a large enterprise." The large-scale buy is being seen as a blow to Microsoft ( MSFT), which just launched its tablet, Surface. --Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Shanthi Bharatwaj. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/shavenk. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.