Barclays says it has no plans to axe Goldfish reward scheme

LONDON - Barclays Bank has described media reports that it is about to axe the reward scheme of its recently acquired Goldfish credit card as ‘speculation.’

Goldfish has stopped signing up new customers since Barclaycard bought the company last month. It has also suspended its marketing while work is undertaken to integrate of the two businesses.

James Cooke, head of public relations at Barclays has said the company will tell existing customers what will happen to their accounts ‘in the right way and at the right time.’

“Barclays bought Goldfish because the opportunity and the price were right. We have not made an announcement regarding the loyalty scheme. Any comment to the contrary is simply media speculation,” he said.

Goldfish was launched by Centrica in 1996 and has been owned by Lloyds TSB, Morgan Stanley and Discover during its 11-year life. Its early TV campaign, fronted by Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, won it more than half a million customers in its first year. The brand was one of the first to offer customer loyalty, promoting benefits including discounts on gas, phone bills, shopping and TV licences.

Former Airmiles director, Wanda Goldwag said loyalty schemes only work if companies honour the promises they make at the beginning. “When Goldfish was first launched its loyalty scheme was the best in the country. Each new owner of the brand however, has reduced the scheme meaning Barclays is inheriting a loyalty campaign that is no longer very motivating. Schemes must be kept consistent to appeal to customers.”

Barclays Bank paid £35m in cash for Discover's UK credit card business, which included the Goldfish brand, at the end of last month.

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