JULY 2012 - SECOND PARLIAMENTARY LOBBY
Following continued delays in reaching settlements for members of the Barclays Investment Victims Club we were able to organize, with the help of one of our members' MP, our second Parliamentary Lobby which took place on Tuesday 10th July 2012 at Portcullis House.
Many of our members MP's attended and we hope they now put into action their supportive words.
To see the video of the event please click here
HOW IT STARTED
This website was set up by people who were persuaded by Barclays Bank sales staff to entrust most of their life savings into 2 volatile and risky investment called the “Morley” now Aviva Global Income Fund which lost them huge amounts of money. There were two products: - the cautious global income fund and the balanced global income fund. They were managed by Norwich Union which in 2008 renamed itself "Aviva". Sadly the cautious global was not cautious and the balanced global was not balanced. They were specialist funds using derivatives such as covered call options and their prices fell very steeply in the 2007-2009 market crash. Although the decision to recommend these funds was taken by Barclays, which earned a whopping commission from each sale, Norwich Union/Aviva managed the funds and described them from the start as high risk funds when launching them in June 2006. Barclays deliberately misclassified these two funds and sold them chiefly to retired people who had no wish to gamble with their money.
BARCLAYS IS FINED BY THE FSA IN JANUARY 2011
After an epic battle by BIVC members including a lobby held in the House of Commons by 80 club members and supported by The Mail on Sunday and Moneymail Barclays grudgingly admitted liability. Our campaign – see Public protests for more details – also woke up the Financial Services Authority (FSA). In January 2011 – very late in the day – it produced a report on the mis-selling of these funds and fined Barclays £7.7 million. This was the biggest penalty imposed on any clearing bank to date. Barclays was ordered to investigate 10,700 cases of people who had not yet complained about their losses on these funds, though the Final Notice suggests the bank has not yet been forced to give additional compensation to people who complained between 2008 and 2009 and received low offers which they accepted.
BEWARE BARCLAYS’ NEW COMPENSATION OFFERS
Barclays is now writing to thousands of people who were advised to invest in the two global income funds and offering compensation which it says has been approved by the FSA and by an independent team of accountants: Deloittes. If you have received a recent offer of compensation for one of these funds from Barclays whatever you do don’t accept it. Email or call the club first for some free advice. Our technical experts believe that in many cases the bank’s offers undercompensate investors – often by quite large amounts. Even if you have accepted Barclays’ offer assuming it to be correct send us the details and we will check it out. We may be able to get you more. In some cases Barclays decides on flimsy grounds that customers wanted no risk at all. This helps them pay out less money as the Financial Ombudsman Service recommends awarding Bank of England base rate as a return on their funds to people who were risk averse but BOE + 1% to people who were cautious. In others it rules that their clients would have put money into balanced funds anyway and adopts a complicated formula matching two Financial Times indices. And the bank never offers customers documentary proof of the dates of their initial investment or how it works out the numbers when people have surrendered their funds. You are allowed to delay accepting the offer for three months so get it checked out by the club’s experts.
BARCLAYS £25 OFFER LETTERS FOR ANOTHER AVIVA FUND
Many members who were advised to invest money in the Norwich Union/Aviva Balanced Distribution fund have recently received letters offering them £25 compensation in full and final settlement . This was another fund Barclays misclassified and sold to thousands of people between 2006 and 2009. Don’t accept this offer either or if you have accepted it send the club your details, preferably by email and we will investigate the offer for you. Barclays marketed it as a cautious product which it wasn’t. Fortunately it has not done as badly as the Aviva Global Income funds so there may only be a small loss. But some investors were sold it while they had a mortgage running which was very bad advice and entitles them to a higher level of compensation. When people have any debts – mortgages, bank loans or even credit card debts they should not at the same time be advised to buy investments. Only people with no debts or borrowings should consider taking investment risks.
OTHER BAD FUNDS
The aim of the BIVC is to assist people who were given inappropriate advice by Barclays Bank and have lost money as a result. It is not just the Aviva funds which were misclassified and entitle people to compensation. Barclays mis-classified and mis-sold many other products and it wasn't just the global income funds that bombed. People in the Norwich Union Portfolio - level option, the Barclays Dynamic Tracker Fund, the L&G (Barclays) Growth Portfolio, the Cautious Dynamic 70 Tracker Fund, the Barclays Multimanager income funds and many other products lost many thousands of pounds and the club is discovering ways of winning people compensation if there is evidence of improper procedures or wrong risk classifications. Additionally it seems likely that anyone who was recommended to switch existing pension funds into a Standard Life SIPP (a self-invested pension plan) may be entitled to compensation as the charges involved in this process were not made clear to customers, especially those who had protected rights in their existing pension plans and who took out the SIPP prior to 2009. These may turn out to be very large claims, depending on the size of your pension pot. Between 30,000 and 50,000 people may have been affected.
Most of us have banked with Barclays all our lives. We trusted the bank and feel let down. We want Barclays to put us all back in the position we would now be in if they had not given us bad advice. We all know that the stock market fell sharply between October 2007 and March 2009 – the so-called credit crunch - and that investment losses are not necessarily compensatable. However we are convinced that many people, especially those who are elderly or have retired, have strong claims against the bank. The club will fight to get everyone a fair deal by pooling information which may help us, by speaking to the press and by lobbying our M.P.’s.
JANUARY 2011 - BARCLAYS SACKS ALL ITS FINANCIAL ADVISERS
Our campaign seems to have led to an astonishing decision by the bank. At the end of January it announced that it is ceasing to offer investment advice in its branches and sacking just under 1000 financial advisers. It will no longer conduct investment sales except for clients who have over half a million pounds. Our campaign against greedy practices and bad advisory services has finally been crowned by success. It is time someone set up a Halifax Victims Club, a Santander Victims Club and clubs for Lloyds, RBS, Nationwide Victims...etc. There is evidence that banks are not fit to provide investment advice and improperly use confidential account information to target customers. Anyone who has received a legacy or a pension lump sum on retirement, or who has sold their house and traded down or sold a field will be pestered by their bank continuously as soon as the money has shown up in their account to speak to one of our advisers who will make your money work for you. The sales resulting from investment advice generate huge commissions for the banks and they all take advantage of the confidential information they have about their customers.