Barclays racked up the most complaints of any UK bank in the first half of 2011 – almost one a minute – according to the Financial Services Authority, although the bank claims this was “good progress”.
Barclays received 251,563 customer moans and admitted to being wrong in more than half of all cases. Earlier this summer, the bank won the dubious honour of landing top slot in the UK data protection roll of shame, with more legitimate complaints against it than any of the other major banks or building societies.
In the FSA study, Lloyds TSB was the second-worst brand for complaints, with 181,907 cases. Spanish giant Santander, which owns the former Abbey and Alliance & Leicester brands, coughed up to 168,888 complaints between January and June.
As a group, 41% state-owned Lloyds, which owns Halifax and Bank of Scotland, clocked up the most complaints with well over 300,000.
Barclays insisted it has made “good progress” since it was named the worst bank for complaints in 2010. Across all products, ranging from current accounts to home insurance, nearly 1,390 angry customers sent letters or made phone calls to complain to the bank every day – an average of almost one every 60 seconds.
But this figure was 14% down on last year. Barclays admitted that the numbers are “still too high” and apologised to customers.
Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays retail and business, said: “Delivering excellent service to our customers is our goal every single day, in every single way a customer interacts with us.
“We want to get it right every time. When we do get it wrong, we apologise, try to correct it quickly and identify how to prevent it from recurring. We have made good progress in reducing complaints with a substantial and sustainable reduction in banking complaints by nearly a third.
“However, there is much more to be done and we are working hard to further improve our service to our customers; putting them at the heart of our business and getting it right first time, every time.”
Barclays tops data ‘roll of shame’