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Protest as Barclays botches stockbroking relaunch

Barclays' new-look 'Smart Investor' website angers customers unable to log in and fund investors hit by new transaction charges.

Protest as Barclays botches stockbroking relaunch

Barclays is in the firing line after a relaunch of its trading platform, Barclays Stockbrokers, resulted in customers unable to log into their accounts.

Scores of Barclays’ customers took to a Citywire Money forum to air their complaints about the new 'Smart Investor' website, which combines Barclays Stockbrokers with online banking. The bank migrated more than 200,000 accounts to the new website over the August bank holiday weekend and faced a high volume of complaints through the course of last week.

A number of customers said they had not received their membership number and password, while others said they were receiving error codes when they tried to access their accounts. Customers then ran into further frustrations when they tried the helpline and were faced with queues ranging from 40 minutes to two hours. The new website’s ‘Live Chat’ function was also down.

‘Despite several letters reminding me what they were going to do, Barclays then failed to send me any correspondence with a Membership number and Passcode. I have now spent 30 minutes on both of the last two days waiting to try and get through to speak to them without success. I tried a Webchat with them and the response was so laughable that I gave up!’ said one disgruntled customer posting under the name ‘Windlesham Don’ on a Citywire Money forum last week.

As the week progressed, Barclays doubled the number of phone advisers to deal with the high volumes of calls and sought to bring the average wait time down. For customers who were unable to access their accounts online to trade, the bank offered an online fee tariff for all trades made over the telephone. This offer is still in place.

One customer – who posted under the name 'DGL' – asked whether others would consider joint legal action against the bank. A number of other forum users said they were looking into moving their portfolios, which in some instances were six figures, to other providers. 

‘I've been with Barclays Stockbrokers since the Charles Schwab days (20 plus years) and am completely dismayed. I'm off with a £1.4 million portfolio. But as yet I'm not sure where! Any suggestions?’ asked ‘Freddie the Sheep’ on Thursday.

Another forum user – David Harmes – added: ‘I was on the phone for nearly two hours and still didn't manage to speak to them. I have obtained information already from Hargreaves Lansdown and will probably move all my accounts over to them.’

Barclays Stockbrokers is the third largest online investment broker, after Hargreaves Lansdown and the recently combined Interactive Investor and TD Direct Investing.

Transaction charges

As part of the overhaul, Barclays Smart Investor has introduced a new charging structure. Users now pay 0.2% on the money held in funds and 0.1% on other investments, such as stocks and shares or investment trusts. There is a minimum fee of £4 per month and a maximum fee of £125 per month.

Although its balance-based fees are less than the 0.35% administration charge investors in funds previously paid, they are accompanied by an online transaction fee that fund investors have not paid before.

Investors will now pay £3 each time they buy and sell a fund and £6 for other investments such as shares, investment trusts and ETFs. All automated regular investments will cost £1.

The new transaction charge facing funds investors makes Barclays better for 'buy and hold' customers who trade less fequently.

Customers who tend to invest or rebalance their portfolio on a weekly or monthly basis took to the forum to complain that their charges had gone up.

‘Not at all happy about the new level of charges, no wonder Barclays said that they were excited about the new website, so would I be with a mass of subscribers and the hefty increase in fees,’ commented ‘Drogue’.

Under the new tariff, customers who prefer to use the phone will be charged a transaction fee of £25.

Addititionally, the bank has lowered the overall maximum charge investors can pay from £1,749 to £1,500 a year.

Exit delays

Barclays had written to customers to provide advanced notice of the planned changes and to let them know that any limit orders would need to be put in place once again under the new system. Customers were offered the option to leave free of charge. Some clients who have chosen to leave complained of delays to this process.

‘I too am an unhappy Barclays Investor - currently trying to jump ship! Transferring out both my SIPP and ISA but Barclays are so overwhelmed with leavers they are on a go slow,’ said Jeffrey Hayward on the Citywire Money forum.

Others vented their frustrations about the new look and feel of the Smart Investor website, claiming they were struggling to see daily price changes, find the Excel download function and access contract notes on Barclays Cloud.

The overhaul also saw Barclays withdraw completely from offering international equity trading facilities. Customers with ‘International Trader’ accounts were transferred over to Saxo Capital Markets, unless they specified that they did not wish to transfer. Saxo had formerly provided a white-labelled service to Barclays for this service.

One poster summed up the mood with the following comment: 'This new Smart Investor site is so bad in comparison to the old Barclays Stockbrokers site and their new administration so woeful that I can only think that Barclays are trying to get rid of their share dealing customers. There might be a regulatory reason why they have done this or perhaps it is just stupidity? My ISA transfer away from Barclays has just completed for which I am truly grateful.'

Rupert Dickinson, head of direct investing at Barclays, said: ‘We are doing everything we can to support our customers with the transition to the new service, including increasing the number of colleagues we have available to support with increased call volumes. We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this period of adjustment.’


49 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Jfletcher via mobile

Sep 04, 2017 at 12:52

As a long time Barclays stockbroker customer who is being locked out of my online trading for 9 long trading days I think this 'Rupert Dickinson' needs to look for another job requiring less skill . I'm off to another platform after a week of awful treatment

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janet alexander

Sep 04, 2017 at 13:00

This has been a nightmare. i too was with original Charles Schwab site and have been using Barclays Stockbrokers site almost every day since they took over about 20 years ago. Excellent research with watchlists all set up ... I CANNOT SEE THESE ANY LONGER. after 2 endless telephone waits i finally have a password for the research centre ....BUT TRY FINDING IT AND WATCHLISTS STILL NOT THERE. Transaction history starts on 26th aug so cant even check transactions on investmentt accounts

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Peter Johnstone

Sep 04, 2017 at 13:00

I have not had the login problems, but find the new Smart Investor to be completely dumbed down and I really believe that I have been missold. There are so many features of the old platform missing (e.g. RNS, share trading volumes, dummy portfolio, daily share price movements) so as to render it next to useless for me and does not add any value. I shall be leaving at the first opportunity.

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Stephen B.

Sep 04, 2017 at 13:17

I've been with Barclays as a current account holder for 37 years and with Barclays Stockbrokers for about 25 years, and I've told them clearly that they're going to lose my business completely if they persist with the new fee structure. Unfortunately I suspect that this is a juggernaut that won't be stopped soon enough to prevent most clients leaving.

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Jezza via mobile

Sep 04, 2017 at 13:20

Disgruntled investors might want to try Hargreaves . Their platform is excellent , charges are very reasonable and the research , watch lists ,tax certificates , phone alert facilities etc are all spot on ...

I've been using them for a couple of years and cannot fault the service

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Dinesh Shah

Sep 04, 2017 at 13:32

The new platform is utterly rubbish. One would have thought they would have first run a trial version and sought opinions of the users. I am definitely leaving Barclays.

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Sep 04, 2017 at 14:10

Having originally transferred to BSB from Charles Schwab I was happy with the service and site, but eventually transferred away some years ago because they would not commit to the possibility of Personal Crest holding even in the future. I moved to Charles Stanley Direct (originally named Fastrade) and have been delighted (with very minor exceptions). In particular the Customer Service provided by their team based in Edinburgh is superb. Unfortunately they stopped offering Personal Crest to new customers some years ago, unless this has changed recently. But everything else is good, particularly if you trade regularly.

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jeremy dougall

Sep 04, 2017 at 14:45

You may have missed the issue of the worst treated Barclays customers

Barclayshare operated a Pension Trader account whereby customers with SIPP's elsewhere could use Barclayshare as their investment manager

In the changes these customers (I am needlessly to say one) were not even given the option of paying higher charges (I would have done rather than move) but were told their accounts were being closed and their options were sell everything and move the cash thereafter (hindsight would tell me now the correct choice) or go through the process of transferring to another investment manager. The latter not proving to be a happy experience.

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Sep 04, 2017 at 15:21

Hi All: I just noticed a post from someone that indicates that when accounts were converted they did not maintain the data on our cost basis. Is this true? Does this mean that we no longer have any accurate data on the appreciation of either our positions or our overall portfolio?

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Simon Westlake

Sep 04, 2017 at 15:35

Astonishment, disbelief and anger from another investor dating from the Charles Schwab days. I too am off. Hargreaves have warned me that their take on systems are running slow due to the stampede from Barclays. An unbelievable fiasco

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John oxby via mobile

Sep 04, 2017 at 15:38

I am still waiting for my pin to log on.

Was on hold for over an hour when I rang today it was over 40 minutes.

When I get sorted I'm moving to HL.

Disgusting treatment from Barclays

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Nigel V

Sep 04, 2017 at 15:40

I have been with BSL for many years, and have been completely happy with their previously excellent service. I was then advised about the forthcoming migration to this "exciting new service" which would "cost less and simplify charges". After examining the small print it became clear this claim was very far from the truth, and in fact the new service would cost considerably more than before. With regret I jumped ship and moved to HL, and can confirm that Barclay's normal exit fees were waived, as I was leaving because I was not happy at the proposed migration.

We are forced to conclude that Barclays intended to alienate clients holding high value portfolios, and judging by the number of people who say they have left or intend to do so, they have certainly succeeded in achieving this outcome!

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Desmond Grocott

Sep 04, 2017 at 15:46

It would be some consolation if Barclays gave an indication how long it will take to sort out the mess. Desmond Grocott

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Concerned Company Pension scheme pensioner

Sep 04, 2017 at 16:15

A complete fiasco both in realation to initially logging in and daily monitoring of price changes.. Now have to resort to Citywire for daily changes in individual holdings . Cannot as yet find find details of largest shareholders and brokers opinions.

As for deletion of historic cost prices!

My £1m+ equity holdings will be leaving as Barclays clearly do not understand their customers needs and the new format is designed by inexperienced people.

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chris the williams

Sep 04, 2017 at 16:19

As soon as I saw the new charges for holding shares I decided to move my ISA which hopefully is in process of moving to IG, which looks the best bet for now. Though who knows how long that good deal will last. I could have moved to HL as I still have an ISA account there but I will never forgive or forget their attempt to charge for holding ITs. Also though their ISA holding fee is low there are a lots of extra services that incur higher than average charges.

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Stephen B.

Sep 04, 2017 at 16:25

On the question of historical information, personally I keep paper copies of everything - when companies insist on "paperless" I print them myself. I don't trust any company to keep my records, especially for share transactions where in principle CGT has no time limit, I think it's still technically possible to need records back to 1965!

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Bad Feeling

Sep 04, 2017 at 17:05

I have just (4:30pm) managed to login for the first time since last Tuesday, having faced repeated 1176 error messages and the dreaded 40 mins on 0800...

I can now take a look. First impression: Micky Mouse interface with endless clicking and scrolling. My screen size is 40" with 4k resolution BUT there's very little to see, it's all white space and 4 places of decimals - why would they let programmers who know nothing about formatting anywhere near such an important system?

Tomorrow, when I have calmed down, I will take a closer look, but 99% certain that this old Schwab client will go walkies.

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Sep 04, 2017 at 17:08

I too am glad that I always stuck with paper copies by mail in spite of Barclays' blandishments to 'go paperless.' The bottom line is: can you trust Barclays to get it right? And on this showing, the answer is: no. It's a shame.

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Sep 04, 2017 at 19:33

Not having all my eggs in 1 basket I use 2 other brokers as well as BSL. But after reading all the log in problems being experienced was pleasantly surprised having no problem accessing my account via my Barclays Bank existing log in proceedure. With this account being mainly Investment Trusts I don't avail myself of their research services so can't comment.

Are they still operating out of Glasgow? Agree with the don't like it then lump it impression.

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Sep 04, 2017 at 22:17

HSBC/First Direct charge £40/year. A Stockbroker should be secure, reliable and accurate. If you need info about shares you can get that from many online sources. You pay dearly if you try to combine trading with share info. Execution-only without frills is the way to go!

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Anthony Tinslay

Sep 04, 2017 at 22:25

Some may have seen my earlier blog but i copy below the message sent to Alastair Thaw before I was able to look at the new"service"

I have already advised that the result of change to me will be

A Substantial % increase in your fees

B No benefit in cost by my being a retired staff member

C You now deny me access to my wife's portfolio, that i have always enjoyed. My wife, due to her condition is not able to handle computer procedures.

I now find two further problems.

D In the message just received over your name is an invite to call with questions/feedback. I tried, held on for ages but unable to make contact.

E To access Barclays Stockbrokers I have always used OPERA as my browser. I now find that with Opera I cannot access Online Banking as it is not supported.

My 30plus years with Barclays including running the Stock Exchange branch in London, tell me that this whole change is a fiasco and needs to be looked at seriously"""

Since looking at my portfolio I find:

No RNS feeds

No daily price movement.

No daily trade deals sjown

As a long standing employee and customer this is all very poor as it was once a fine and helpful service at a reasonable cost.

Incorrect closing mid prices shown

Corporate Action showing wrong information (e.g. GLENCORE)-

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Michael Linham

Sep 05, 2017 at 00:01

I will never ever consider Barclays for anything again. My shares are currently in limbo as they took them off their system but have not forwarded them to my new platform. I was considering a Barclays Current account but I've dumped that thought and am glad I dumped their Credit Card earlier this year. I intend writing to the Financial Control authority to ensure a Compensation Package is put in place for everyone affected by this gross inefficiency.

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adrian jarvis

Sep 05, 2017 at 02:02

Having read all the gripes regarding the enforced transfer to Smart Investor I agree that Barclays have acted in a dictatorial manner and like the Provident have no idea of customer relations.They have acted in a bombastic, arrogant and totally unprofessional manner, having no idea how to run their business.

Many clients have been loyal supporters of Barclays, so have many members of their staff, all of whom have despaired at the "Johnny-Come-Lately, bonus grabbing overpaid destroyers of a fine institution. These changes are insulting to existing investors, they will lose most of them and be replaced mainly with novice first time clients generally dealing in modest amounts.

Before moving to another provider may I suggest the following procedure before committing to the transfer. Ask to see how the shares/holdings are displayed in your portfolio, i.e. do they show gain/loss throughout the trading day, also the % gain/loss. for each share/holding. Better still, do they offer a "trial" buy and sell dealing with dummy money provided where you can build up a portfolio and view how this is displayed as mentioned above.

Compare buy/sell with dummy buy on Smart Investor as they have "Price Improver" which can reduce some of their other costs.

If anyone finds an alternative broker, having researched their costs and compared the offer/bid price with dummy deals in both Company's it would be helpful if their findings was shared as it would be far better than going blindly with another broker.

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dick barry

Sep 05, 2017 at 11:05

I too have been with Barclays and prior to that Mr Scwab.. I was very happy with the old Barclays site, however the new one is awful.

The escalation of the fees is not acceptable and I will be transferring my account elsewhere.

The new fees for me on my ISA and my wife's ISA will amount to £408 per annum and the trading account would be something like £60, this is totally not on.

I have checked with Hargreaves L and their fee is capped at £45 per ISA. trading account Nil.

Selftrade, although not offering same research facilities don't charge admin fee but do have £10 month inactivity charge.

So HL seems good bet, good site and fair admin with large PFs.

Goodbye Barclays,'' you've trodden on your own wicket!''

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dick barry

Sep 05, 2017 at 12:38

Error in my previous post.....Selftrade inactivity fee is for a quarter not a month.

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David Kay via mobile

Sep 05, 2017 at 13:30

What an absolute shambles from Smart Investor moving our Barclays Stockbroker accounts to this new platform. Now exorbitant fees and I would suggest anyone with a large portfolio move to Hargreaves Lansdown! A PR own goal from Barclays who will lose customers in droves. If you ring expect to wait an hour at least for someone to pick up the phone.

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Anthony Tinslay

Sep 05, 2017 at 14:03

Further to my earlier comment I have this morning received a written response from Barclays to my e mail and letter addressed to Alastair Thaw. No apology or comment on anything but just an ack. of complaint although I did not mention the word. .Kicked into the long grass of course with no doubt regular updates of "we are still investigating...........". I will keep in touch with my inside source.

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Wild Horses

Sep 05, 2017 at 18:43

I have experienced every problem that the other forum users have had including loss of holdings which Barclays asked me to transfer to another stockbroker. I am appalled at the amateur and lack adaisical approach of Barclays. What are we paying our fees for ? Can we take action ?

I want to transfer my entire portfolio now but how long will that take ? Will they try to charge me ? Should I wait ? Recommendations for a good online professional broker please .

I have wasted so much time trying to contact Barclays I have now given up. It might be simpler and quicker to go their head office in person .

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Jfletcher via mobile

Sep 05, 2017 at 19:24

Smart investor doesn't send emails for expiry or execution of limit orders or whether a trade has been dealt. It's not really a stockbroker anymore - it's just amateur hour . Ring them up - their traders don't know what they are doing - or don't care or both. Time to walk

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John Prendergast

Sep 05, 2017 at 20:24

Boy, what a cockup by Barclays. Will move my account as soon as I can get into this shit site.

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Andre Blackburn

Sep 06, 2017 at 08:07

I'm yet another ex-Schwab customer transferring my £1m portfolio away from this car-crash of a investment platform. The old Stockbrokers site was excellent with good navigation and easily accessible research. I think Barclays have completely misjudged their customer base by providing this dumbed-down, confusing, slow and infantile site. I hate it and suspect most other ex-Stockbrokers customers will also. I've registered my comments with Barclays and commenced transfer activity to iWeb; the lowest cost platform I can find. I guess it could take some time though as no doubt Barclays will be dealing with a flood of exiteers!

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Garth Nicholson

Sep 09, 2017 at 09:43

There must be a load of Barclays customers like me who are leaving, I have already transferred out a large lump of cash and as sales materialise will transfer out the remainder. I am not going to involve Barclays in transferring holdings as I am certain that there will be problems with them doing that, even if only the time it takes. Unfortunately ISA and SIPP holders can't take the sale and move cash option.

I was very happy with the platform as it was. It could have used a bit of a polish up but was very functional. I used a lot of trailing stops and these are now useless on the new platform as you cannot see the current trailing value. In addition three of my contract notes have gone missing, hopefully they will turn up but in the meantime I have been able to guesstimate the sale proceeds and remove the cash. The process of having to log in to my bank account and then go through to the investment page is driving me crazy as I am frequently logged out again due to a link or the page not working. I expect my bank card and Pin Sentry device will soon be worn out.

After all the advance hype I was actually looking forward to the new shiny platform with increased bells and whistles. What a disappointment - I can only conclude that the new platform was designed by someone who had no knowledge of an investors requirements. Crazy, when with a little forethought they could have carried out an investor survey in advance, incorporated the best ideas in the new design, then beta tested on a sample of investors. Heads should roll over this at Barclays.

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John Brandler

Sep 09, 2017 at 10:16

When I used Barclays they refused to take my call unless I had 1 Mill plus with them - SO HIT THEM WHEE IT HURTS - IF you spent ages on the phone - BILL THEM for your time - And report them to the Ombudsman. EVERY COMPLAINT costs them hundreds of pounds in fees to the ombudsman. If they stopped you from trading - That is "Theft by Witholding" - ASK FOR COMPENSATION - then complain to the ombudsman. They steal your money by incompetance - make them pay.

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Stephen B.

Sep 09, 2017 at 10:52

On the contract notes, you don't need to wait for them - if you look in the cash tab you can see the cash movements, and you can see the transaction details under (I think) orders/historic (I don't have it open at the moment but it's something like that). In fact they should just have a print option for that and forget the contract notes ...

On the survey question I did in fact do quite a lengthy survey a couple of years ago, so perhaps it's all my fault :) As far as I remember my general summary was that the web site was quite cluttered and could do with some re-organising, but I was reluctant to recommend big changes because in my experience they always make things worse.

On the question of whether heads will roll, I think one interesting question will be the reaction of Premier banking, which is their entry-level private banking account. Having (I think) £75k invested with Barclays is probably the main way people qualify for that - the alternative is £100k+ salary which is rather less common. Smart Investor may be prepared for a big loss of customers, it seems to be at least somewhat intentional, but Premier may be less happy if 2/3 of their accounts vanish ...

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Stephen B.

Sep 09, 2017 at 11:19

A bit more information - I just got two paper contract notes for transactions made on Monday. Separate envelopes despite being a simultaneous bed-and-ISA, and the address on the envelopes is still Glasgow - the notes themselves have no postal address, just web and phone.

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sandbank 2

Sep 09, 2017 at 11:21

The answer for Barclays is fairly simple - go back to the old system in use last month.

I am not interested in the myriad reasons they will give for not being able to do so - the fact is they can, and they must - if they want to retain their customers

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Alan O

Sep 09, 2017 at 17:36

Two automatic dividend re-investments carried out in the past 3 days although one was a week later than it would have been under the former system missing the next xd date. Complaint on the way. Scrip carried out this week but the residue of the cash not credited. Complaint registered.

A £5 test I sent by Debit Card on 29th August not appeared under the "Cash" tab. Formal Complaint issued but not acknowledged in accordance with procedures. FCA will be notified. Will start Chargeback request next week through sending bank.

I cannot see Barclays fixing the poor design and functionality in the short or medium term. Although leaving is an option, I will wait until requests die down a bit or the accounts will be in limbo for months.

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imteyaz khan

Sep 09, 2017 at 19:10

The new Smart Investor site is quite bad in comparison to the old Barclays Stockbroker . The worst thing is that there is no display of daily price movement of each individual shares either in absolute term or in % terms. How the hell one can know what is happening to the stock on day to day basis. I am coming out and started selling stocks. The other problem is that I was authorised to deal on my wife's behalf with her written authorisation with BSB because she can't deal with computers and now that facility has been withdrawn. It is a dumb website. No stock broker broker has such an awful design which makes it useless specially for frequent traders.

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imteyaz khan

Sep 09, 2017 at 19:10

The new Smart Investor site is quite bad in comparison to the old Barclays Stockbroker . The worst thing is that there is no display of daily price movement of each individual shares either in absolute term or in % terms. How the hell one can know what is happening to the stock on day to day basis. I am coming out and started selling stocks. The other problem is that I was authorised to deal on my wife's behalf with her written authorisation with BSB because she can't deal with computers and now that facility has been withdrawn. It is a dumb website. No stock broker broker has such an awful design which makes it useless specially for frequent traders.

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J gill via mobile

Sep 10, 2017 at 08:33

The new smart investors is a complete useless one, the share price was a delayed one, how on earth can anyone trade? no daily price movement, no info about directors share dealing, the volume of share dealing of others, no brokers forecast, the web design is rubbish, scatter all over the place, I spend three days making phone call for information and get no where, now my online banking has been locked by them and I can't deal shares for 3-5 days, the end of day share price is not updated, I am leaving them, they are not good to the share investors.

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Cd via mobile

Sep 11, 2017 at 22:03

After multiple phone calls and failure by Barclays to deliver anything that resembles customer service I actually give up, passed from one call centre to another the only option is leave. So if the figures are correct (lets face it probably not) would like to count myself officially as 1 of 200,000 goodbye Barclays.

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Tim Ow

Sep 12, 2017 at 09:14

You wonder who makes these decisions. They dont talk to their customers, they don't give them what they want, they take away what works well. No one knows what they are doing and complaints are ignored. I have had price issues for stocks for some time where the closing prices are wrong. They have done nothing and so far I still even wait for a response after tghe last comlaint - I guess they have so many they can't cope. Shame to see such a good service go downhill so fast. Hargreaves must be gaining lots of new business as a result.

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Oct 02, 2017 at 14:10

I am dealing with my portfolio of ISA and Sipp in the same manner. They made an error and linked my account to a business account which was closed in 2011 and sending me the passcode linked to that account which I could not use. Made several complaints, Wasted several hours and lodged official complaint but still not able to get access to my account over the several weeks now. I can not deal on telephone as got a large portfolio and without my portfolio in front for analysis can not make any informed decision regarding buying or selling. Lost a lot of money over the time as most of the time stuck on the phone to find out about my complaint. I personally think that financial ombudsman should take some strict step for the harassment the barclays stockbrokers customer is going through and put a huge penalty for the barclays smart investor.

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Wild Horses

Oct 02, 2017 at 14:38

I have been constantly mislead as to when the transfer I requested at the beginning of august will be made. Each time , nearly daily ,I telephone to ask what is happening I am told it is in progress,or will be done by Friday or latest Monday, that was three weeks ago. Today I rang AGAIN to be told it would be done in 2 weeks time. And on it goes. Barclays asked me to make the transfer as they would no longer hold international investments. I would like to move my entire portfolio away from them but fear it will caught in the ether and I will loose all. Yes the Financial Ombudsman should look at this and compensate all the Barclays customers who have been given such bad service.

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Concerned Company Pension scheme pensioner

Oct 02, 2017 at 15:10

The complaints continue in abundance.

Can anyone tell me if Barclays have made any statements on the mess they have created and how they propose to address the considerable deficiencies of the new platform or ,as seems to be the case, is it their intention to encourage knowledgeable clients to transfer their business elsewhere?

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Tim Ow

Oct 02, 2017 at 17:43

Barclays good at apologising and very poor at resolving. I suggest you formally complain to Barclays and if they have not resolved or you do not like their final letter then you can take it to the FOS. However, you have to go through Barclays first. However, dont hold your breath - they are overwhelmed with complaints and seem to have no idea how to cope. I formally complained last week on my wife's account - they blamed issues on using Barclays files which were 7 years old rather than using current Barclays stockbrokers files - who makes these decisions? Besides huge security risk, just a shambles. I was told staff had been informed that responses could take 40 days or more - this shows not enough effort or care! Action speaks louder than words and not enough action!

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Anthony Tinslay

Oct 02, 2017 at 18:55

Only way is to keep up the pressure. My original letter of criticism received a response let you know by 22nd Sep." Nothing received so sent another update of additional criticisms. Response rec. today 2nd Oct "answer by 22nd Oct". Will now tell them that I will not accept the increased fees until I receive a satisfactory final response and then I will decide whether to transfer away. Also asked them for a comparison of fees between previous platform and "Smart" platform. Keep them busy and they might reconsider

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Eileen Abell

Oct 02, 2017 at 20:50

I, too, made a formal complaint via email on 2 Sept to Barclays over their disastrous new SmartInvestor site and its shortcomings, losing me money etc. I have received a couple of text messages since then, (only in the last 3 days) to the effect that they have received my complaint (ref number given) and "expect to give me an answer by 27 Oct. I daren't start transferring my portfolio of shares to AJB yet, in case I cannot deal for weeks and weeks....

Who is going to head up our joint complaint to the Ombudsman/or FCA? There is enough steam in this kettle to generate one, surely?

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Alan O

Oct 02, 2017 at 22:00

Regrettably, you can only go to the Ombudsman after you have a "final" response from Barclays for which they are allowed up to 8 weeks. If they fail to respond by the 8 week deadline, then you can go to the Ombudsman.

The FCA does not deal with individual complaints but will take complaints about process e.g. if you complain and Barclays don't acknowledge it (the FCA says in writing so I suppose a text counts), then you can raise this with the FCA. You can also complain to the FCA about false advertising so if there is anything in the Smart Investor literature that is misleading or false, then you can complain. I think this is the only way at present to get the FCA to show some interest.

If 250,000 account holders emailed the directors or board members, that might get some reaction too. Email addresses are in the format

List of directors can be found on the Barclays corporate website

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Overnight Markets: Healthcare stocks boost Dow, S&P 500

on Oct 18, 2017 at 04:16

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