Barclays stung with £26m fine for 'poor treatment' of thousands of customers
Banking giant Barclays has been fined £26 million after its “poor treatment” of some consumer credit customers who fell into arrears or experienced financial difficulties risked making their problems worse.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has imposed the penalty on Barclays Bank UK Plc, Barclays Bank Plc and Clydesdale Financial Services Limited (Barclays).
It added that Barclays has pro-actively redressed these customers, paying over £273m to at least 1,530,000 customer accounts since 2017 and the redress programme is close to completion.
The bank apologised to customers and said it has now put several new measures in place, including changes to staff training.
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA said: “Consumers should feel reassured that their lender will work with them to help resolve any financial difficulties, whereas Barclays’ poor treatment of its customers risked making these difficulties worse.
“Firms must treat consumer credit customers fairly, including when they find themselves in arrears. We will take action against unfair treatment, or where firm systems expose customers to the risk of unfairness.
“While this case predates the pandemic, this message is especially important as the impact of coronavirus continues to affect household incomes and budgets.”
Between April 2014 and December 2018 some retail and small business customers who had been offered consumer credit were treated poorly when they fell into arrears, the regulator said.
A Barclays spokeswoman said: “Barclays is a responsible lender. Since the issue was first identified, we have implemented a number of changes to our customer journeys, systems, processes and colleague training to correct it, and the vast majority of customers who were impacted have already been contacted.”
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