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"
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.