A MAJOR bank has apologised after causing concern among Jersey users of its credit-card service with an email that ‘incorrectly’ informed them their accounts would be closed.
Barclays has sought to reassure Barclaycard cardholders in Jersey and Guernsey that there will be ‘no change to the service they currently receive’, after they were mistakenly told their cards would stop working next month.
An email sent to customers early this morning said 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’.
‘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,’ it stated.
The announcement came as a shock to many, with several Barclaycard customers contacting the JEP.
One Islander, Kay Forrest, said: ‘It was completely out of the blue – I was wondering if it was a scam [email] at first.’
The email comes just a few months after the Jersey Consumer Council warned that credit-card companies are pulling out of Jersey because they cannot check customers’ details on a central register – and that the trend could spread to mortgages, loans and other financial services.
Another Islander, Graham Prince, said: ‘If Jersey doesn’t do something from a regulatory point of view then there is a real risk this could become a big problem.’
However, some Islanders claimed they contacted Barclays about the changes only to be told the email had been sent ‘in error’.
In a comment on the ‘Jersey Ask! Advise! Advertise!’ Facebook page, one said: ‘I’ve just spoken to my branch and I’ve been told the email was sent in error and I should get another today rectifying this.’
Another Islander added: ‘I enquired at Barclays Library Place who emailed me to say “the email was in fact sent in error this morning and was not supposed to be distributed to Jersey, Guernsey and IOM residents. A further communication will be sent out to all CI card holders shortly”.’
Following questions from the JEP, a Barclays spokesperson said: ‘We offer our sincere apologies to any of our Barclaycard customers resident in the Channel Islands that may have been incorrectly informed that their accounts would be closed.
‘We can confirm all existing cardholders resident in Jersey and Guernsey will continue to be supported and there will be no change to the service they currently receive.’