Our H1 2020 results show that complaints volumes across Barclays UK have fallen significantly, largely due to the coronavirus situation causing decreased customer activity.

  • Excluding Payment Protection Insurance, we have seen an overall reduction in BUK complaints both year-on-year (40%) and half-on-half (37%). 
  • We have seen a forty-four per cent drop in BUK banking complaints versus the first half of 2019. This is largely attributable to decreased customer spending and transactions.
  • We have seen a thirty-seven per cent decline in complaints for investments versus the first half of 2019.

Bob Cliff, Barclays UK Head of Virtual Channels, said: “Our customers and clients are our number one priority, so we work tirelessly to ensure they have a positive experience when they interact with us – be that in person, on the phone or through one of our digital channels. Our goal is to exceed what our customers expect from their bank, especially during this difficult time, and we will not stop until we have achieved this.

“While complaints have reduced, we will keep working hard to exceed what our customers expect from us, throughout this period and beyond.”

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 2.7 per cent fewer complaints per 1,000 accounts than in H1 2019.

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: 

Support our customers and clients through coronavirus

Our number one priority is our customers and supporting them throughout this period. We have provided c121,000 mortgage payment holidays, c.106,000 personal loan and point of sale finance repayment holidays and c.157,000 credit card repayment holidays, as well as waiving late payment and cash advance fees for 8 million customers, to help them through this difficult time.

We have also worked to support key workers through emergency credit limit increases on their Barclaycards as well as prioritised services for NHS staff, while working with our existing partner Travelex to provide cash to vulnerable customers who are isolating, via the Royal Mail Special Delivery Service.

We continue to support our one million SME customers across the UK through the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, helping over 250,000 UK businesses so far with the Bounce Back Loan (BBL) and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) schemes, facilitating over £10 billion worth of funding. Our wider financial support measures, such as free everyday banking and overdrafts, also provided a critical supporting hand to SMEs with a turnover of under £250k throughout lockdown.

In addition to lending, our partnership with Nextdoor – the neighbourhood hub – offers all UK businesses two free Business Posts per month, allowing them to connect with local residents in their area without the need for ‘likes’ or ‘followers’. Furthermore, the launch of Barclays Back to Business Toolkit, in partnership with Cambridge Judge Business School, has also provided support to SMEs by helping them to assess the health of their business and build a resilience plan for tomorrow.

Protect our customers against fraud and scams

During a time when people are at their most vulnerable, fraudsters and scammers can strike. So, now more than ever, we’re committed to protecting our customers and colleagues by giving them more tips on how to safeguard themselves against fraud and feel more secure. This is why we re-launched our Barclaycard Fraud Fighter Tool across TV and social media, to help our customers better understand how to stay fraud safe and stay one-step ahead of the scammers.

This year we have also implemented Confirmation of Payee (CoP). This is an account name checking service that helps to make sure payments aren’t sent to the wrong bank or building society account, helping to prevent fraudulent or scam payments.

In addition, we are part of the ‘Do not originate’ scheme, created in partnership with the telecommunications industry, UK Finance and Ofcom, to prevent our most common inbound helpline phone numbers from being used in a scam. Participating telephone companies are provided with phone numbers that we use only for inbound customer calls and never for outbound. These numbers are then blocked should the telephone companies see them being spoofed by fraudsters. We are passionate about protecting our customers from fraudsters, so when the opportunity to contribute to this scheme came up we were keen to take part.

Help customers stay in control of their finances

New customers can now open a current account entirely within the Barclays app. Using just a selfie, a snap of their ID and a few details, the new app feature allows people who don’t currently bank with Barclays to safely and securely open a current account within minutes.

We also continue to build on our digital investments offering. For those looking to invest their savings, we have launched Plan and Invest, a new digital advice service that will build a personalised investment plan that is tailored to their goals, before managing it on their behalf. The service looks to close the advice gap and is designed to support people who don’t have the time or confidence to invest on their own.

The Data Explained

The complaint tables below provide a breakdown of all complaints made to Barclays between January and June 2020.

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 37 million accounts and Barclays Bank PLC has over 1.3 million 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 (BBUKPLC)
Other firms included in this report (if any): 
Barclays Insurance Services Company Ltd, Barclays Investment Solutions Ltd, Clydesdale Financial Services Ltd* and Barclays Asset Management Ltd.
Brands/trading names covered: 
Barclays Bank UK Plc., Barclaycard, Barclays Wealth, Smart Investor ,Barclays Business Bank, Barclays Partner Finance and Wealth Management
*Clydesdale Financial Services Limited migrated from BBPLC to BBUKPLC on 1st April 2020 and complaints data is reported accordingly

  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 3.35 N/A 125,270 129,467 59% 37% 60% General admin / customer service
Home finance 12.37 N/A
10,911 10,668 42% 49% 69% General admin / customer service
Insurance and pure protection 9.61 N/A 9,963 178,005 1% 4% 72% Advising, selling and arranging
Decumulation and pensions N/A
6.41 147 165 31% 35% 47% General admin / customer service
Investments 7.84 N/A 3,714 3,968 30% 35% 54% General admin / customer service
Credit Related
2.51 N/A
7,070 5,825 49% 42% 58% N/A
157,075 328,098 27% 20% 67% N/A

Barclays Bank PLC

Firm name: Barclays Bank PLC (BBPLC)
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 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 7.44 N/A 9,866 9,328 74% 20% 69% General admin / customer service
Home finance 6.51 N/A
4 4 25% 25% 100% General admin / customer service
Insurance and pure protection N/A
N/A 1 0 N/A N/A N/A General admin / customer service
Decumulation and pensions N/A
1 1 0% 100% 100% General admin / customer service
Investments 19.44 N/A 106 85 48% 38% 38% General admin / customer service
Credit Related
2.19 N/A
3,801 3,947 52% 22% 60% N/A
13,779 13,365 67% 21% 66% N/A