In an incredible turn of events yesterday Barclays Bank was fined £26million for the poor treatment of small business and consumer customers that had fallen into arrears. Reading between the lines on the BBC, Telegraph and the Guardian, it seems Barclays employees harassed those that owed money while also offering solutions that didn’t take into account a customer’s financial position, thus propelling them into even more debt and making their circumstances worse.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) require consumer credit agencies to take time to understand an individuals money situation and to offer guidance and solutions suited to their needs. Barclays failed to do this, acting without care or consideration towards their customers during 2014 and 2018.
Barclays does promise to do better and claims they’ve already retrained the staff involved while doling out millions in compensation to customers affected.
We spoke to Giles of Debt Consolidation Loans, a firm that has been reviewed and approved by the Consumer Voice. Giles is a financial expert with decades of experience who began helping people to get out of debt after his own life circumstances nearly led him to where he often finds his customers.
He explained that understanding the mental health of an individual is so important when offering debt solutions. Money worries are one of the biggest causes of suicide and so it is imperative that lenders and those in the financial industry listen carefully and never offer solutions that would make the situation worse.
Debt Consolidation Loans hit the radar of The Consumer Voice as they place an emphasis on mental health and understand there is a person behind the mounting bills. Working closely with each customer they regularly review financial situations to ensure their customers never pay more than they can afford. They have been a lifeline for hundreds of people struggling to find a way out of debt, due to their personal touch and the expertise of the founder.
Barclays could do well to take a leaf out of their book!