Financial issues Latest News

Can you credit it? Barclaycard offers?

Strange offers from a leading credit card provider – but why?

This week I got wind of some promotions by Barclaycard which don’t feel right…

Barclaycard appears to be promoting a couple of businesses that raise questions about the integrity of the Barclaycard business model.

Firstly, Nutri-Genetix:

30% off ngx starter pack

I wonder what kind of deal Barclaycard got for promoting this?

Nutri-Genetix claims to be able to provide information based on your specific genome, telling you what and how to eat to maximize your health. This field is being developed by dieticians and nutritionists with a special interest in high level performance for world class athletes who are looking to optimize their nutrition.

“It’s good to have these kinds of tests available”, says Lamorna Hollingsworth from Lamornafitness, who is a certified nutritionist. However, she advises using them to top up and optimize nutrition, fitness and lifestyle factors that are already being worked on by the individuals consuming this product.

She is uncomfortable with the claims put forward by this business, commenting “I feel their statement ‘You can now get all of your nutrition in a tasty, convenient form’ is misleading. Despite following their suggested 2 shakes/day regime, you still need to consume the vast majority of your daily calories (with appropriate macronutrient split), nearly 30g of fibre (suggested amount as per Government guidelines) and eat an appropriate diet to maximise performance or weight loss goals.”

It all seems rather pointless then, doesn’t it?

The starter pack is £129.99 for one month of shakes!

The science is unproven and the product is expensive. So, is it ethical for Barclaycard to be promoting it?

Secondly, TransUnion.

Barclaycard promotes unnecessary service

Now, this is really peculiar.

free credit report

Promoting something as a time limited offer that can already be obtained for free elsewhere seems a little odd.

You can already get your credit report for free from the three credit reference agencies: Experian, Equifax and Callcredit.

Sara Williams from Debt Advice website DebtCamel does not like this approach from TransUnion. She says “Barclays makes it sound as though they are giving you something valuable for free by giving you 6 months free access to a free TransUnion credit report. But you can get a free report forever by signing up to Credit Karma” She also advises that people check all 3 agencies as they hold different information.

So, why is Barclaycard doing this? It appears to be framing what is in effect a non- offer as something that is worth having.

So what does Barclaycard say?

A Barclaycard spokesperson said: “We work with a number of partners to present exclusive offers and discounts to our customers. We select these deals based on what we hope our customers will find useful and valuable, and we carry out robust due diligence on all partners to ensure that that they meet the high level of service our customers rightly expect.”

I question the due diligence. Barclaycard isn’t saying that it recommends or endorses any products or services that they partner with but they are peculiar choices. I imagine customers expect products and services that are promoted by Barclaycard to be of high quality and not in any way questionable? (Given that I have questioned them here?!)

Is it just me or should Barclaycard be doing better in their choice of promotions?




Financial issues Latest News

Regulator slowly, finally makes moves to resolve major insurance market issues

FCA tackles the insurance penalty – at last!

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced today that it will reform home and motor insurance, focussing particularly on the current “loyalty penalty” that punishes existing loyal clients’ premiums and favours new clients.

The FCA found in 2018 that some 6 million policyholders were paying high or very high margins over and above an average premium. Had they have paid the average for their risk, they would have saved £1.2 billion!

The FCA has published a 31-page report on the insurance market and finally (two years later!) announced a consultation on the following:

  • Product governance rules requiring firms to consider how they offer fair value to all insurance customers over the longer term.
  • Requirements on firms to report certain data sets to the FCA so that it can check the rules are being followed.
  • Making it simpler to stop automatic renewal across all general insurance products.

“The FCA is proposing that when a customer renews their home or motor insurance policy, they pay no more than they would if they were new to their provider through the same sales channel.”, says the regulator’s announcement today.

If the proposal goes ahead it is estimated that £3.7 billion would be saved by insurance customers over 10 years. Methinks the insurance companies won’t like these proposals!

Loyalty Super Complaint

The FCA’s action originates in September 2018, when the Citizen’s Advice Bureau launched a  “Super Complaint” calling on the regulator to look into how consumers are being penalised for loyalty in 5 key sectors. It requested an outline from the CMA on what action would be taken to resolve the problems.

CAB launches super-complaint into penalising loyal customers

FCA Consultation on insurance prices

The FCA’s consultation is open until 21 January 2021, to be followed by analysis of feedback and a Policy Statement, with new rules due later that year. We’ve all known that these practices have been going on for years and the Super Complaint was made two years ago. It beggars belief that it will be three years from this complaint before something is done.

FCA dragging its feet

In a statement made in September 2018 the FCA said

“In the FCA’s 2018/2019 Business Plan we announced that we were looking at the pricing practices of general insurance firms. As part of that work we will launch a market study looking at how general insurance firms charge their customers for home and motor insurance. The terms of reference for this market study will be published in a few weeks’ time.”

So, why has it taken so long?

In the meantime here are the measures you can take to ensure that you are not losing your share of the 1.2 billion that insurance companies are overcharging their loyal customers!

grid of 4 cars


See How to save money on your car insurance





See How to save money on insurance and beat the tactics used to make you renew a story of how to get round the company wanting to make you phone to cancel a renewal…

How to save money on insurance and beat the tactics used to make you renew