Barclays Customer Service Chief Quits
Barclays is parting company with the executive responsible for improving service standards just weeks after a survey ranked it as the worst-performing bank in Britain.
Sky News understands that Paul Maddox, managing director of customer service, is to leave Barclays in the coming weeks after roughly three years in the role.
A spokesman said Mr Maddox was leaving the bank "to pursue a role outside Barclays", saying that he had "accomplished a great deal". He denied a suggestion made by several industry sources that he was being pushed out as it attempts to get a grip on a pandemic of customer complaints.
Mr Maddox had become an increasingly visible figure at Barclays, although he did not sit on the executive committee for its retail and business banking operations. Reporting to Matt Hammerstein, a former chief of staff to the ex-Barclays chief executive John Varley, his replacement will be Bob Cliff, who will assume the title of managing director for complaints management.
In August, Barclays said that customer complaints during the first half of the year had fallen 16% to 381,000. If complaints about payment protection insurance were excluded, the number came down by 46% to 91,215.
While the improved performance was highlighted by Barclays executives at the bank's half-year results, and enormous complaints volumes continue to blight the wider industry, senior managers concede that positioning it as "the go-to bank" is undermined by continuing customer dissatisfaction.
Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of retail and business banking, said in August that the improved figures did not deflect from the fact that "this is no time for self-congratulation", and pledged to publish complaints data on a quarterly basis.
Last month, the campaign group Move Your Money ranked Barclays as the lowest of 70 lenders for honesty and customer service.
A Barclays spokesman disputed the robustness of the survey, arguing that it was not based on widespread customer opinion.
The bank, which is led by Antony Jenkins, recently unveiled an advertising campaign dubbed 'Your Bank', in which it asks customers for ideas about how to improve the quality of Barclays' service.
Industry analysts believe the advent of a new regime allowing customers to move current accounts within seven working days will accelerate the defection of customers from banks with poor service. An exodus of deposits could have implications for banks' cost of financing their operations if they are obliged to access more wholesale markets funding.
Banks have been deluged with millions of claims for payment protection insurance compensation, with several of the biggest high street lenders understood to be the subject of probes by the City watchdog's enforcement division.