Barclays Bank has launched one of the UK’s largest direct-marketing
campaigns, offering tailored information to customers based on their
The campaign, put together by direct-marketing firm Rapier, is targeting
all of the bank’s ten million current account holders.
The bank has two related aims for the mailshot: to counter an increasing
number of complaints about poor service; and to promote the launch last
week of a service that allows customers to make immediate withdrawals on
Customers have been segmented into 300 sub-groups based on information
the bank held about previous transactions.
The mailers include information about financial services tailored to the
individual based on information about the customer’s previous use of the
Gordon Rankin, managing director of Barclay’s Personal Banking, conceded
that the bank needed to improve its customer service offering because
its current level of service was considered to be poor.
A key element in the change of direction, and one that will probably
drag the other high street banks in its wake, is Barclays’ decision to
cut out the cheque processing cycle.
A cheque can be drawn on immediately after it is deposited by a
customer, rather than a wait of five days, though if it bounces the
account holder will be liable for the amount.
Rankin added: ’Transactional banking has not changed since the 19th
century ... it is an outdated system and yet we say to customers you
must work around our model.’
One of the most common complaints among bank customers is the length of
time it takes for a cheque to clear - five days - and the inconvenience
it can cause.