Jul 4, 2019

Barclays censured by UK watchdog over treatment of small businesses

Barclays must reimburse smaller businesses compensation that amounts to a drop in the ocean compared with the bank's own income after it broke rules that were designed to protect the companies, the UK's competition watchdog said on Thursday. The UK bank must dole out a total of £2,000 to affected business premium account holders to make up for payments the smaller companies should not have been obliged to make, the regulator said. The rules prevent banks from insisting that businesses open or maintain current accounts before they are able to access their other products, the regulator said. Barclays admitted to the CMA that it had failed to comply with "Aspects of legal undertakings" that were set up to make it easier for businesses to shop around and choose the best accounts for them, the watchdog said. Barclays breached the rules by preventing small and medium-sized businesses that had premium accounts from transferring funds to or from accounts outside Barclays and also by telling holders of notice deposit accounts that they had to open a current account at Barclays.

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