Why Barclays has got it wrong

Ludlow’s chief executive has criticised Barclays Wealth and Investment arm for wanting to move clients valued under £500,000 to a more arms-length service.

Barclays is now in the process of moving high net worth clients with funds of less than half a million into a division that will be managed from call centres in Glasgow, Birmingham and London.

Clients moving onto this service will only be dealt with by a non-regulated client services manager who will be overseen by a regulated private client manager. This new direction for the bank’s wealth management and investment division follows on from Barclays’ restructure which saw approximately 90 private bankers being made redundant.

Although the service provided to private clients will be streamlined, it is understood the bank’s charging structure will remain the same.

Sid Ludlow, chief executive of Ludlow expressed his concern over the move.

He said: “This is terrible news for those clients at Barclays who will be affected. Anybody with wealth valued at up to £500,000 requires a level of service above and beyond that of an unqualified representative at the end of the phone.

“It is a stark contrast to the quality of service that we have built our own success upon. We have a large portfolio of clients who fit in to this bracket and we feel privileged, not inconvenienced, in helping these clients achieve their financial goals in life. Wealth management is about providing a personal, professional and outstanding service and this can’t be done at arm’s length.

“I would urge anybody affected by these changes to consider whether they are prepared to pay the same amount of money for what will be a slimmed down service.”

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