Barclays records most complaints for banking services

Barclays Bank emblem
Image caption Barclays recorded 294,891 complaints for its banking services in six months

Barclays has been named the UK's most complained-about financial institution during the second half of 2010.

According to figures from banking watchdog FSA, more than 294,891 complaints were made about Barclays during the period.

Runner up was Spanish bank Santander with just over 165,000 complaints for its banking services.

Barclays also restated its complaints numbers for the first half of 2010, up from 259,266 to 307,622 complaints.

The bank said it had raised the numbers in consultation with the FSA, after "we identified a need to adopt a tighter interpretation of when a complaint is closed."

Rising complaints total

"Barclays is committed to reducing the number of complaints its receives and making substantial improvements to the overall service we provide customers," said Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays' global retail banking.

The FSA said the total number of complaints received across the banking industry rose by 3% to 1.79m.

It means nearly 10,000 complaints about the sector are filed every day.

Complaints about controversial payment protection insurance (PPI) surged 63%, according to the FSA.

The figures showed Lloyds TSB was in third place with 89,811 complaints about its banking services.

Natwest came fourth with 87,271 complaints.

"Not only have total complaints risen to almost 1.8m, upheld complaint levels have increased too," remarked Oliver Morgans, from Consumer Focus.

He added it "suggests the tide hasn't turned and this is simply because banks aren't treating their customers fairly".

US move?

Barclays took the top spot as reports surfaced, once again, that it is considering moving its headquarters to New York because of increased regulation in the UK.

An article in the Wall Street Journal said Barclays had had preliminary conversations with US regulatory officials on a move.

There has been increasing speculation that Barclays could transfer its base to the US since it appointed Bob Diamond, an American, as chief executive last September.

Barclays, which has been based in London for more than 300 years, has said its preference is to stay in London.

But chairman Marcus Agius said in August it and other banks had to consider where they were based as regulations shifted around the world.

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