Our H2 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 (7%) and half-on-half (4%).
  • We have seen an eight per cent drop in BUK banking complaints versus the second half of 2018.
  • We have seen a thirteen per cent decline in complaints for investments versus the first half of 2019.

Sian McIntyre, Barclays UK Head of Customer Experience, said: “We are committed to ensuring our customers have a positive experience when they interact with us – be that in person, on the phone or through one of our many digital channels. The satisfaction of our customers is incredibly important to us, which is why we work tirelessly to identify and resolve the issues that cause them to complain. Therefore, we are pleased to see that complaints continue to trend downwards, 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 9 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 finances

In 2019, we launched our ‘make money work for you’ campaign across TV, radio and social media to raise awareness of people’s relationship with money, with the aim of helping customers to feel in control of their money. During the festive season, we provided top tips and guidance on our website, social media and in branches about using the Barclays App spending feature, spending limits, invoicing, budgeting tools and more.

In September we introduced Barclays Money Mentors, a free and impartial mentoring service, designed to help answer financial questions and clear up money concerns. Both customers and non-customers can book a personalised 45-minute mentoring session in a branch, by video and over the phone.

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 contact 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 are 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 is 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. On 1 April 2020 we’ll start using Confirmation of Payee (CoP). It is an account name checking service that helps to make sure payments aren’t sent to the wrong bank or building society account.

We are also pleased to have played an important role in the creation of the Contingent Reimbursement Model code. 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 supporting them through change

During 2019, we hosted over 200 clinics, 72 webinars and created a £14bn lending fund for businesses to support customers and clients 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 focused on managing cash-flow and working capital, exporting goods abroad, supply chain management, labour, and protecting businesses against fraud. The 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, unlocking fast access to cash.

In July, our national team of relationship managers also got ‘on the front foot’ to visit 25,000 small businesses across the UK in a single day to help them through Brexit. This was repeated in October so the team could listen to the concerns of small businesses, and offer support and practical solutions for the challenges they face such as managing cash-flow, finding labour, and exporting goods abroad.

Helping customers to get onto the property ladder

We’re committed to helping customers achieve their financial goals and in 2019, we helped our customers to buy their first home and get onto the property ladder by issuing over 29,000 mortgages. This was almost a third more mortgages for first time buyers than the year before.

The Data Explained

The complaint tables below provide a breakdown of all complaints made to Barclays between July and December 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 37 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 5.77 N/A 215,731 217,883 64% 30% 57% General admin / customer service
Home finance 11.22 N/A
9,869 9,222 47% 49% 73% General admin / customer service
Insurance and pure protection 526.80 N/A 567,460 235,160 2% 46% 87% Advising, selling and arranging
Decumulation and pensions N/A
8.06 185 180 32% 47% 38% Advising, selling and arranging
Investments 12.00 N/A 5,673 4,985 35% 41% 56% General admin / customer service
Credit Related
2.14 N/A
1,849 1,799 52% 40% 57% N/A
800,767 469,229 32% 39% 73% 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 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 7.63 N/A 12,253 12,558 78% 18% 64% General admin / customer service
Home finance 79.47 N/A
24 24 67% 29% 71% General admin / customer service
Insurance and pure protection N/A
N/A 2
General admin / customer service
Decumulation and pensions N/A
0 1 0% 100% 0% General admin / customer service
Investments 6.83 N/A 30 23 39% 48% 78% General admin / customer service
Credit Related
4.61 N/A
7,911 7,781 54% 34% 62% N/A
20,220 20,418 69% 24% 63% N/A