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Barclays: customer complaints down but 'still too high'

Customer complaints fell 6% in 2011, but were up in the second half of the year and high in investments and insurance.


by Victoria Bischoff on Feb 22, 2012 at 14:44

Barclays saw customer complaints rise 12% in the second half of last year, according to new figures.

The banking giant received 281,484 complaints in the second half of 2011 compared to 276,315 in the second half of 2010.

A significant drop in complaints in the first half of last year, however, means the overall complaints figure for 2011 is down 6% – or down 29% if you exclude PPI complaints, which soared last year following the recent mis-selling scandal.

The number of complaints received

Barclays H1 2010 H2 2010 H1 2011 H2 2011 H2 2011 vs H1 2011 2011 vs 210
Banking 240,883 205,151 162,611 146,316 -10% -31%
Home Finance 9,384 8,580 8,894 6,837 -23% -12%
General Insurance and pure protection 38,187 59,003 73,692 122,992 67% 102%
Decumulation, life and pensions 1,829 1,530 2,456 2,055 -16% 34%
Investments 2,016 2,051 3,910 3,284 -16% 77%
Total including PPI 292,299 276,315 251,563 281,484 12% -6%
Total excluding PPI 254,112 217,312 177,871 158,492 -11% -29%

The figures show that complaints about insurance and protection rose a staggering 102% in 2011. Barclays said the majority of these complaints from customers who have been mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). Last year the bank put aside £1 billion to cover compensation costs.

Complaints about investments, meanwhile, also rose significantly – up 77% on 2010.

A spokesperson for Barclays told Citywire this is partly down to investments not performing as well as they have in the past due to current global market conditions and also a result of the £7.7 million fine the bank received last year for serious advice failings, which led to 12,000 investors being mis-sold Aviva investment bonds.

However, the number of complaints received about banking fell a substantial 31% from 446,034 in 2010 to 308,927 last year. 

Barclays claims the figures demonstrate the bank is focused on putting the customer at the heart of the business, but acknowledges complaints volumes are ‘still too high’.

Last year, figures from Financial Services Authority (FSA) showed that Barclays was by far the most complained about bank in the first half of 2011, and today we can see that complaint levels in the second half of the year were even higher.

Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking, said: ‘We are aiming for further significant reductions in underlying complaints in the first half of 2012’.

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?


Feb 22, 2012 at 18:33

Not surprised. I have been trying to cancel he Business Internet service for a client of mine since last July, as it costs £50pm whereas simple internet access is free. Despite numerous letters, some of which they deny receiving even though I have acknowledgements, and many 'phone conversations with promises, nothing has happened and they keep charging. They have old authorities, addresses and contacts on their Leicester telephone help line even though the database the branch uses is correct. Unfortunately the branch is 120 miles away as otherwise I would camp out in it.

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