Further memorandum submitted by Barclays
Following the Treasury Select Committee, I would
like to provide some additional information that I hope will give
you a sense of the context behind the recent media comment about
our business banking activities in Scotland.
First and most important, I can confirm that
Barclays is committed to Scotland and does not intend to withdraw
from the Scottish SME market, despite the media reports to the
Barclays currently has more than eight hundred
customers in the country who fall within our larger, medium and
smaller business segments and who are served by teams based in
Glasgow, Aberdeen, Kelso and Edinburgh. A new head of Barclays
Business Banking in Scotland, Rikki Griffiths, is due to start
on the 1 July.
Regarding the recent media coverage, it is true
that one of our Relationship Managers in Scotland contacted three
business customers asking them to move their banking arrangements
elsewhere. He gave as his reason that we were exiting one specific
sector of the market on his retirement from the Bank. It is fair
to say that the letter written to two of these customers was a
poorly worded description of the changes to our overall service.
As you would expect, we continually review our
service propositions and refine them to provide the best combination
of products and services to meet our customers' requirements.
On deciding to introduce changes to our service, we successfully
transferred the great majority of our customers to alternative
propositions that we provide. However, in the case of these three
customers, we did not believe that we could meet their requirements
to an acceptable standard and therefore concluded that it was
in their best interest that they move to an alternative supplier.
We stated then and confirm now that we will work closely with
these three customers to effect a smooth transfer to a new bank.
We are committed to all the customers we serve
and seek always to offer high standards of service in meeting
their needs. Whenever we change our offering, we work closely
with the customers affected to ensure that any transition is as
smooth as possible.
I hope that this provides some further background
to the question raised yesterday.
27 May 2002