Barclays Bank has apologised to customers in the Island after incorrectly telling them that their accounts would be closed.
Barclaycard cardholders in Jersey and Guernsey have now been reassured that there will be ‘no change to the service they currently receive’, after they were mistakenly told that their credit cards would stop working at the end of next month.
An email sent to Channel Islands customers on Wednesday, 12 April said that Barclaycard accounts without a UK residential address were being closed as the company was ‘no longer offering accounts to customers living outside of the UK’.
Numerous customers shared the email with the Jersey Consumer Council and contacted us to share their shock and concern, with one saying that they’d been a Barclays customer for over 40 years.
However, the bank contacted customers again later the same day to reassure them that the email had been sent in error.
The original email said: ‘If you don’t have a UK residential address, then your card will unfortunately stop working on or after 30 May 2023 and we’ll close your account on or shortly after 21 June 2023.
‘We know that this may be disappointing and inconvenient, so we’re here to help you understand what this means for you and what to do next. If you have other accounts with us that are affected by these changes, we’ll contact you about them separately.’
Earlier this year, the Jersey Consumer Council called for a centralised electoral register as part of a response needed to prevent further credit card companies from pulling out of Jersey and other Crown dependencies.
For more than two years, we've been meeting with credit card company representatives, credit reference agencies, the Jersey Bankers’ Association, finance leaders, and the Jersey Financial Services Commission to try and understand, on behalf of consumers, why credit card companies are refusing new applications to Island residents, refusing to provide Islanders with a new card once their existing one expires, or, in some instances, closing existing accounts, despite excellent credit history.
And during the summer of 2022, we received more than 600 responses to a survey we conducted to try and get a better understanding of how consumers were being impacted by the move.
We’ve shared our findings with the Government of Jersey, who are currently looking into the issue.