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Barclays follows Co-op in banning sales incentives

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by Jan Harris
Barclays follows Co-op in banning sales incentives

Barclays is changing its bonus system for 18,000 branch and call centre staff, following a similar move by the Co-operative bank.

Barclays is ending the practice of awarding staff commission for selling financial policies.

Like the Co-op, Barclays will now provide bonuses for good customer service rather than for meeting sales targets.

Antony Jenkins, who has replaced Bob Diamond as Barclays’ chief executive, said: “We believe that becoming the ‘go-to’ bank is about helping people and businesses get on.

“Therefore the key to Barclays long-term success is the level of service we provide, not how many products we sell.

“We want customers to choose Barclays because of the great service they receive from us,” he continued.

In a recent enquiry, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) found that sales incentives increased the risk that financial products such as Payment Protect Insurance would be mis-sold.

The Financial Conduct Authority, one of the two bodies which will replace the FSA under a restructure of the UK’s financial regulatory framework, will monitor sales practices at banks, building societies and investment firms.

Barclays’ will introduce its new incentive scheme based on customer service, on 1 December and will withdraw sales incentives from this date.

Quality of customer service will be measured for branches and areas and will not be based on the performance of individual staff.

Earlier this week Barclays announced a move to strengthen its retail operations through the acquisition of savings and mortgage business ING Direct UK.

The deal will add £10.9 billion to Barclays’ savings business and give it another 1.5 million customers.

Ashok Vaswani, head of Barclays retail and business banking arm in the UK, said: “We intend to maintain the high standard of service customers have experienced with ING Direct UK.”

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News posted: October 10, 2012

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