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Barclays Bank: loyalty, rage, indignation and apathy

The world moves on and banking moves with it.

Lurching from crisis to bonus, there appears to be a strong divide between the markets, the players and the rest of the world.

Whilst some of us scream about the banks being rotten to the core – PPI. Qatar funding, Swaps mis-selling, LIBOR, money laundering etc – the banks just get on with being banks.

Case in point: Barclays.

Announcing their meagre profits today, the bank has actually delivered a solid performance in the investment sphere.  £4.1 billion of profit, up 31%. Overall, the bank has seen profits rise across the group by 24% to £7.5  billion before tax.

This is when the bank has been through its worst reputational crisis ever, with a BBC Panaroma program showing they even cooked the books to get through the 2008 crisis.

Add on to this various other issues and the headline figure reduces this to a paltry £292 million statutory profit.  Specifically, this is down to writing off £1.8 billion for PPI mis-selling and a further £850 million for swaps mis-selling.

What really got me in all these figures however is the outright indignation of the media.  I remember being on a phone-in when the LIBOR rigging scandal hit the headlines last July and all these Johnny's and Mary's ringing in to say they would switch their banks as they believed that Barclays was morally corrupt.

So, around all of this is one key stat that came out today.

During 2012, Barclays Bank, the UK retail bank, lost 200,000 deposit accounts from their consumer operations.

Sounds like a lot?

Not really … they still have 11,700,000 consumer deposit accounts.

So they lost just over 1.6% of their customer base in 2012.

Now that’s what I call resilience (or is just apathy?).

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About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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One comment

  1. So why didn’t they move accounts? Was it a) too difficult – see the massive investment in the Account Switching project b) too little alternative choice (does account switching help Johnny and Mary move their accounts to an allegedly more ethical kind of a bank, such as a building society or a credit union) c) apathy d) ah, now I think about it, free banking is actually quite a good deal so I’ll stick with my allegedly morally corrupt provider after all

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