Our H1 2019 results show that we are continuing our progress in reducing the number of complaints across Barclays UK:

  • Excluding Payment Protection Insurance, we have seen an overall reduction in BUK complaints both year-on-year and half-on-half
  • We have also seen a two per cent drop in BUK banking complaints versus the first half of 2018

Sian McIntyre, Barclays UK Head of Customer Experience, said: “We are committed to ensuring our customers have a positive relationship with us, and so work tirelessly to identify and resolve the issues that cause them to complain. We are pleased to see that complaints continue to trend downwards across a number of key categories, and will keep working hard to exceed what our customers expect from their bank.”

We meet a financial need for nearly one in two adults in the UK, so it also makes sense to look at the numbers in the context of our size. For example, in the banking category, we received 5.5 per cent fewer complaints per 1,000 accounts than in H2 2018.

We remain absolutely committed to delivering excellent customer experiences, and exceeding what our customers expect from their bank. In recent months, we have taken steps to:

Help customers stay in control of their spending

Barclays recently launched a new feature for customers within its mobile banking app giving them the ability to ‘turn off’ spending with certain types of retailers.

The first UK high street bank to offer such a feature, Barclays developed the new tool with customers in vulnerable circumstances in mind. However, the feature will help all customers take greater control over where their money can be spent, as well as making them less vulnerable to fraud and scams.

Protect our customers against fraud and scams

We’ve invested millions of pounds into multi-layered security systems that help protect customers and typically prevent several thousands of attempted fraudulent transactions every day. This includes a sophisticated transaction profiling system that is unique to every customer. This allows us to swiftly reach out to customers when an uncharacteristic transaction has been detected, to confirm that it is genuine and not a result of fraud. This enabled us to prevent over £835 million of fraud from taking place in the past year.

We have introduced extra steps in our ‘add a new payee’ journey in the Barclays app to help protect customers from fraud and scams. Before making a payment customers will be asked to select the payment purpose from a list of nine categories, including reasons regularly used by scammers to persuade customers to make transfers. From here, customers will see a contextualised warning message prompting them to really think about the payment they are making.

Once they have read the warning, the customer will then be asked to confirm they are comfortable to continue with their payment as normal. These new steps act as a positive-friction point in the payment journey, and allow customers time and space to reflect on the payment they are making and consider if they are completely comfortable.

We are also pleased to have played an important role in the creation of the Contingent Reimbursement Model code, which went live on May 28. We believe it is a significant step forward in helping to protect customers and reimburse those who have been victims of scams.

Help UK businesses to grow and create new jobs

Earlier this year, we hosted over 100 clinics for businesses to provide additional support to customers through Brexit. The events were held in our bank branches and Eagle Labs (co-working innovation spaces for entrepreneurs and businesses) across the UK, and were hosted by a network of 1,500 relationship managers.

The clinics focussed on managing cash-flow and working capital, exporting goods abroad, supply chain management, labour, and protecting businesses against fraud. They also looked at using data and technology to help boost business, from apps and automation, through to the bank’s partnership with Fintech MarketInvoice, which enables businesses to get funding against their outstanding invoices and unlocking fast access to cash.

Ensure all of our customers can access every-day banking services

In a UK banking first, Barclays recently announced a service where deaf or hard of hearing customers will be able to have their telephone conversations with the bank interpreted by a lipspeaker: a hearing person who can provide communication support by being easily lip read. With over 11 million people in the UK experiencing hearing loss, these developments will make sure all customers are able to access telephone banking services more easily.

The data explained

The complaints tables below provide a breakdown of all complaints made to Barclays between January and June 2019.

The complaints data is segmented across the six FCA product categories. The FCA also require firms to quote the complaint volumes in the context of the number of accounts, so we have included the number of complaints we received per 1,000 accounts for each of the six categories in the first column of each table (labelled ‘Provision’).

Barclays Bank UK PLC has almost 38 million accounts and Barclays Bank PLC has over 405 thousand accounts within the Banking category. This includes all current and savings accounts, as well as credit cards.

In the last column of each table we have also highlighted the main cause of the complaints, as defined by the FCA, for each category. The majority of the complaints we received were classed as ‘general administration and customer service’, which includes areas such as delays and bank errors.

Barclays Bank UK PLC

Firm name: Barclays Bank UK PLC
Other firms included in this report (if any): 
Barclays Insurance Services Company Ltd, Barclays Investment Solutions Ltd and Barclays Asset Management Ltd.
Brands/trading names covered: 
Barclays Bank UK Plc., Barclaycard, Barclays Wealth, Smart Investor ,Barclays Business Bank and Wealth Management

  Provision (at end of reporting end date) Intermediation (within the reporting period) Number of complaints opened Number of complaints closed
Closed within 3 days (%) Closed After 3 Days but within 8 weeks (%) Upheld (%) Main Cause of Complaints opened
Banking and credit cards 5.97 N/A 225,012 231,241 61% 31% 59% General admin / customer service
Home finance 10.63 N/A
9,231 8,951 54% 45% 72% General admin / customer service
Insurance and pure protection 201.02 N/A 224,863 188,820 5% 88% 87% Advising, selling and arranging
Decumulation and pensions N/A
6.19 142 158 32% 47% 51% Advising, selling and arranging
Investments 12.11 N/A 5,868 5,585 42% 42% 57% General admin / customer service
Credit Related
2.53 N/A
2,120 2,072 53% 44% 57% N/A
467,236 436,827 36% 56% 71% N/A

Barclays Bank PLC

Firm name: Barclays Bank PLC
Other firms included in this report (if any): Clydesdale Financial Services Ltd
Brands/trading names covered: 
Barclays Bank PLC, Barclays Corporate Bank, Barclays Private Bank, Smart Investor and Barclays Partner Finance.

  Provision (at end of reporting end date) Intermediation (within the reporting period) Number of complaints opened Number of complaints closed
Closed within 3 days (%) Closed After 3 Days but within 8 weeks (%) Upheld (%) Main Cause of Complaints opened
Banking and credit cards 35.66 N/A 14,472 14,345 83% 14% 57% General admin / customer service
Home finance 28.88 N/A
8 8 13% 63% 50% General admin / customer service
Insurance and pure protection N/A
General admin / customer service
Decumulation and pensions N/A
3 2 50% 50% 50% General admin / customer service
Investments 5.13 N/A 24 26 8% 73% 50% General admin / customer service
Credit Related
5.94 N/A
9,828 9,221 65% 28% 54% N/A
24,335 23,602 76% 20% 56% N/A