High street bank hit by FSA fines

Complaints about investments sold by Barclays Bank increased by 77% in 2011 resulting in a £7.7 million by the Financial Services Authority.

The fines regarded misselling of the Aviva Global Balanced Income Fund and Aviva Global Cautious Fund during the period of July 2006 and November 2008.


In total, 7,194 customers complained about retail investments, pensions and insurance last year, compared to 4,067 in the previous year.

A spokesman for the bank said: “The rise in investment complaints in 2011 was driven by complaints resulting from an FSA fine in January 2011 over the suitability of advice for customers sold the Aviva Global Balanced Income Fund and Aviva Global Cautious Fund between July 2006 and November 2008. We have said we are sorry for this, we are focused on putting it right and we have taken steps to ensure it does not happen again.”

Barclays retail and business banking chief executive Antony Jenkins added: “Tackling complaints is our top priority and today’s figures show real sustained progress on delivering on our commitments, with a reduction of over 30% in banking complaints .We can and will do more to improve service and go further and faster to drive down complaints. We are aiming for further significant reductions in underlying complaints in the first half of 2012 as we continue on our journey to get it right first time, every time, for our customers.”

This is by no means the first time high street banks have been criticised for their practices, and all these cases only serve to underline the fact that offshore banking is by far the better option for expat savers and investors.

Learn more about the banking options available to expats in our Offshore Banking section.