Barclays trims back wealth service in UK

BARCLAYS will no longer accept new wealth management clients with less than £500,000, the bank revealed yesterday, as new regulations drive up the cost of doing business.

The retail distribution review has pushed financial advisers to charge an up front fee instead of commission, in an effort to make them give better advice, unbiased by kick backs from product sales.

But that has put off customers and made it harder to do business, as well as requiring more training for advisers.

It comes as the bank slashes its wealth management arm’s global reach as new rules make it more and more expensive to offer advice to rich clients.

A raft of rules on anti-money laundering make it too expensive to make money in some states, while the bank is also increasingly aware of potential for reputational damage should anything go wrong.

It is pulling back to 70 core markets, down from more than 200 currently.

That should still give it access to 86 per cent of global wealth, allowing the bank to cut costs and build scale, boosting profitability.

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