In praise of Barclays
Yes, you read that headline right. It’s true that I’ve not been been particularly sympathetic to Barclays or its new chief executive, Bob Diamond, over the years. But credit where it’s due. The bank’s decision to offer no-quibble compensation to those to whom it mis-sold payment protection insurance policies is an honourable move – especially since Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland are still scrutinising every claim.
Nils Pratley at The Guardian suggests Barclays has been clever because the bank will save on administration costs through this blanket compensation. Well, I suspect the tens of thousands of Barclays customers mis-sold PPI don’t mind in the slightest. RBS and Lloyds customers probably wish their own banks were so clever.
Elaine Moore at the FT says the cynical will wonder if the move is a way for Barclays to avoid full liability. Again, if so, it’s a dodge that benefits ripped-off customers.
Of course the line in the Barclays statement that “when we get things wrong, we apologise, and work hard and work fast to put them right as quickly as possible” is complete cobblers. They fought over payment protection insurance compensation for years, just like the rest of the sector. And it was only when the High Court ruled against them in April that they accepted defeat.
But Barclays is the first high street bank to do the right thing and pay up with no questions asked. For that (if nothing else) they deserve praise.Tagged in: banks, barclays, high court, lloyds, payment protection insurance, Royal Bank of Scotland
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