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How Barclays 'borrowed' my children's money

My children, four and six, are lucky to have a full set of grandpas and grannies, who spoil them with presents and some "monetary contributions". In fact, over the last few years the little ones squirreled away between them over three thousand pounds that was safely stashed in Barclays' special "Children's Savings Account". Or so we thought. Until last Friday, when - "due to some technical glitch which we cannot explain, sir" - the balances of those accounts turned into zero. Big fat zilch. Nada.

I promptly visited my local branch where the only response I could squeeze out from aloof and ignorant branch manager was "I am sorry for that inconvenience, sir. I will lodge a complaint on your behalf". I don't give a toss about complaint - I am lodging one myself, with FCA and Financial Ombudsmen Services. And it's not an "inconvenience", but a major security lapse we are talking about here. The FCA regulations clearly stipulate that "funds in excess of £50 that are received from individuals or another money transfer business for the purpose of making a money transfer transaction are required to be safeguarded." Barclays breached their fiduciary duties. Big way.

A few hours later, I spoke to a helpful and apologetic senior manager from "Specialist Complaints Head Office". She reassured me that the funds were "somewhere within the bank" and the problem occurred due to some phantom "technical glitch". FOUR WORKING DAYS (!) later my children's money is still missing! Deposits (or, rather, account balances) are not some wooden boxes full of cash with a customer's name tag on it. They are electronic records held in a secure central database. Money cannot simply "go astray" these days...

LIBOR. Then PPI. Then rigged FX rates. Now children's (!) savings (!!) accounts. Something really fishy and unacceptably wrong is going on at the bank whose slogan is... "Respect | Integrity | Service | Excellence | Stewardship"...

I am engaging several resources to investigate this appalling and disturbing matter, and will keep you posted on my progress. I will get to the bottom of it and will tell how the UK's second largest bank (assets-wise) lost - or "borrowed"?.. - my children's money, and why no one within that organization has any clue as to what exactly happened there.

Apparently, this is not the first time (by far!) that customers' money went "missing"... Class action lawsuit, anyone? Stay tuned.

Where is my money?..

Comments: (6)

Paul Love
Paul Love - Konsentus - Nottingham 03 December, 2014, 15:22Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Thank goodness that Barclays are the type of innovative bank that offer mobile phone banking, or the money would have been long gone before you realised!

A second complaint should be over the 0.0065% interest rate your children are being paid. From my experience banks do not go to much trouble to notify you when that is reduced either! 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 03 December, 2014, 15:24Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Thank you for the tip, Paul. Will add that to the (long) list of the wrong things that surround this saga.

Chetan Ghadge
Chetan Ghadge - Wipro - Pune 03 December, 2014, 15:54Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The narrative in the screen shot says payment which make this even more scarier. Is it a fraudulent payment against ur account that the bank has no clue where it originated or is it simply an internal fraud.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 03 December, 2014, 15:57Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It's the bank's internal transaction which they claim is not fraudulent, but is a "technical glitch". In my view, six calendar days is enough for a bank of that caliber to establish the exact warebouts of customer's funds (especially considering that those funds never left the system...)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 03 December, 2014, 23:07Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Barclays: "We have no higher priority than the security of our customers' money" (

Yeah... Sure... (A good example of how two positive words deliver a negative meaning, btw)

Lu Zurawski
Lu Zurawski - Lu Zurawski - London 04 December, 2014, 10:59Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Good Luck. Perhaps its time for more innovation around kids banking. How about a new start-up, called "Teddy-Pay"?!


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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

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