Barclays looks to settle complaints

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The Independent Online
COMPLAINTS about the length of the queue in a Barclays branch will be met with a 'complaint action form' rather than a scowl from the teller, under a new scheme to improve its customer service, writes Heather Connon.

Its National Complaints Initiative is designed to ensure that grievances are dealt with effectively by staff and, through a central complaints unit, to help assess the main areas of concern. 'For the first time, we will have a consistent method of dealing with complaints in all branches throughout Britain,' a Barclays spokeswoman said.

The scheme is being launched as banks face growing criticism over charges, service levels and their handling of small businesses.

The criticism, and increasing competition from building societies and telephone banking services, is forcing banks to improve services.

Barclays currently handles about 9,000 complaints a year through its central complaints unit.

All 45,000 branch staff have been on training programmes to help them identify and deal with complaints. The central monitoring unit will use the complaint information to make improvements in its service in all branches.

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