Barclays Attracts Most Complaints of Big Five High Street Banks

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It’s no secret that amongst the high street banks, there’s plenty of competition. From in branch experience to lending rates, there’s a constant race to win over customers. Now more than ever banks are fighting on every front for customers, with switching now as easier than ever before.

One area where the big banks have constantly lagged behind, however, is in their treatment of customers. Complaints are forever flowing in about the high street banks, but some are doing better than others.

Now, according to The Financial Conduct Authority, we know that in the first six months of the year Barclays Bank was the most complained about financial services firm in the UK. The FCA said that between January and June complaints about Barclays rose 3% on the second half of 2015 to reach 287,463.

Barclays aside, HSBC was the only other bank to see complaints rise, seeing numbers go up 3% to 124,891. Lloyds, meanwhile, fell 7% but remained second highest with complaints numbering 213,163.

In total, 2.05 million complaints to financial services firms over the period represents a 2.6% drop. In total 57% of those complaints were upheld by the FCA, leading to total compensation for customers to the tune of £1.96 billion during the period. As expected, payment protection insurance remained the most complained about product, accounting for 45% of the complaints.

That, of course, has put immense strain on Barclays customer service, but the comp any only have themselves to blame. Tashema Jackson of uSwitch.com said that it’s always the case that the bank with the most customers will receive the most complaints, it’s frustrating to see Barclays receive so many more complaints than its rivals.

With ever greater competition in the banking sector, it’s now down to Barclays to pull up their socks and get to the bottom of this problem. We’re living in an age when it’s never been easier to switch banks. Indeed, many banks offer a cash reward for switching, making allegiance to Barclays very tough indeed.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy at the FCA said: ‘To see another six months of reduction in the total number complaints is encouraging. Firms still need to continue to ensure they are doing all they can to reduce consumer dissatisfaction, but the figures show firms are taking our feedback seriously.’

Matt Hammerstein, head of client and customer experience at Barclays said: ‘We want everyone to have a brilliant customer experience with Barclays and will not stop until we achieve this. We are listening to feedback so we can fix the things that aren’t working and exceed what our customers expect from their bank.’

All eyes are now on the bank to arrest their terrible performance before it starts to hit their bottom line. Of course, we won’t know the true scale of complaints during 2016 until early next year, but with financial results announced before then, we may well have some indication of how they’re doing.

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