Just got a text message from Barclays about how they’ll be stopping support on Sundays besides fraud
Wild to see how they can cut back branch services, nerf their telephone support (which already saw changes from 24/7/365 or near enough, iirc, to within certain hours) and make Blue Rewards suck for non-home owners/insurance customers within a calendar month
It’s like they’re trying to speed run a loss of market share. I don’t understand it. As much as I disagree with Starling’s cap on free cash deposits, I’ll be moving back. Especially since the account is all online etc and won’t need maintenance.
They do appear to be somewhat in crisis mode with the Jes Staley affair also having been recent.
However, my guess is a lot of recently announced branch closures, in particular, are to escape the new LINK “cash provision review” that will happen every time a branch is closed in the future, so TSB and Barclays may have been trying to rush these through before that takes affect.
The product changes for premier seem to also parallel the way HSBC Advance has been watered down within the last few years (I know that Barclays Premier is probably more analogous to HSBC Premier, but it reflects a general scaling-back of premium banking products, presumably because they aren’t bringing in the profits they once were).
Changes to Blue Rewards just seem like a “because they can” kind of thing, as most of these accounts have become less generous over the past 3 years or so, and Barclays did stick out as one of the most generous - so could afford to cut back. It’s still a blow when they have cut the Direct Debit cashback and the per-retailer cashback at almost the same time. There is now very little point in Blue Rewards, at all, other than as a kind of loyalty scheme to reward those who have multiple products with the bank.
Cuts to support are most likely a combination of trying to push people towards online and self-service, while also cutting costs.
So looking at it from a business perspective, these decisions may well make sense - but from a customer perspective they really weaken the appeal of Barclays as a bank. There is now very little on offer to the average customer that they couldn’t get a better return on elsewhere, and the current account, especially, is not very exciting without Blue Rewards.
That these perspectives are at such odds just hammers home how messed up the industry is
Good point, but I can’t really see how that ever changes.
Customers expect/demand free if in-credit banking, plus some additional perks as well to keep them loyal to a bank.
Banks, clearly, are in the business of maximising profit - but all of that erodes profit and actually makes it very hard to turn a profit, from the classic retail banking products at least. Shareholders will put pressure on them to get results, so they have to gradually tweak things to meet various targets if performance starts to fall too far behind expectations.
A balance has to be struck between not irritating customers (too much) and satisfying shareholders (enough).