Counting pennies costs 5 pounds at Barclays

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The Independent Online
BARCLAYS Bank, which recently announced half- yearly profits of pounds 1bn, clearly believes in looking after the pennies and letting the pounds look after themselves, writes Nic Cicutti.

On the day it announced its record profits, it tried to charge Daniella Sutherland, aged six, and her four-year- old sister, Ashleigh, pounds 5 to count the pounds 10 in coins they had saved in their piggy- bank for their holiday.

'It's no wonder they make so much money by doing things like this to little girls,' their mother, Debbie Sutherland, of Newcastle upon Tyne, said yesterday.

But a Barclays spokeswoman said: 'Things like this can cause queues for our customers. We introduced the pounds 5 counter charge more than a year ago but we have probably turned a bit of a blind eye in the past. If customers complain about waiting we have to do something about it.'

The bank claimed the charge was only levied on customers who - like Daniella, Ashleigh and their mother - do not have an account at one of its branches.

The Sutherlands eventually changed the cash into notes at a local shop before setting off on the family holiday.

Other banks said that they would approach each case on its merits.