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Barclays keeps quiet over potential advice market re-entry

Barclays Alt Logo 450Barclays has remained quiet on potential plans to re-enter the retail advice market.

The bank closed its advice arm, Barclays Financial Planning, in 2011, but last February Money Marketing reported on plans that it would re-enter the market through a combination of online and face-to-face advice.

This would build on the success of direct-to-consumer platform Barclays Direct Investing, launched in November 2016, which a spokesman describes as the “first step towards a suite of new services that will help address the savings and investing knowledge gap in the UK”.

However, in its annual results announcement this morning, the bank does not reference financial advice or planning or an automated investment service.

Pre-tax profits at the bank were up 10 per cent to £3.5bn. It paid out litigation and conduct costs of £1.2bn, 0.7bn of which related to payment protection insurance sales. Barclays UK profits accounted for £1.7bn of the total.

While it still operates a high-end private client wealth management service, Barclays Wealth, it was understood to have communicated with former advised retail clients last year as part of a historic suitability review.

Barclays’ results this morning follow fellow bank Lloyds yesterday, which put financial planning and pensions at the core of a new three-year strategy.

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  1. How they hope we forget why they closed in the first place. Closure of their advice arm followed serious problems with sale of Aviva Funds for which they were fined £7m. It was poor guidance on the funds to their advisers and poor literature not warning of the disadvantages I recall.

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