Barclays has been handed a £26m fine for poor treatment of more than 1.5m struggling borrowers. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the penalty – the largest it has ever issued for a breach of consumer credit rules – should act as a warning to lenders over mistreating customers facing difficulties during the Covid crisis. Barclays was found to have wronged business and personal customers who were in financial difficulties and fell behind on credit card and loan payments between 2014 and 2018.
The FCA said the bank had failed to properly contact customers who fell into arrears and had not had appropriate conversations about their individual circumstances. Lenders are working with the Treasury to craft a standard set of rules for how to handle collection and recoveries of government-backed bounce back loans for small businesses, but those standards are unlikely to be extended to other forms of debt.
Read more: City AM
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