Barclays visited by FCA 186 times last year

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Barclays was visited by the FCA more than twice as much as the next most-monitored British bank in 2014, according to a Freedom of Information request.

The bank was visited by the regulator 186 times last year, equating to four times a week, Bloomberg discovered. Part of the reason for the visits is the size and complexity of the bank, as Barclays had 48,600 employees at the end of 2014.

HSBC was the next most-visited bank with 85 meetings with the FCA, followed by RBS at 65 and Lloyds with 58 visits. For US banks, Citigroup was visited 57 times, Goldman Sachs 44 times and Deutsche Bank 46 times.

However, the figures may drop next year as Tracey McDermott, who became head of wholesale supervision at the FCA earlier this year, is looking to cut down on routine visits to firms.

Instead, she will focus on comparisons between firms to show good and bad practices.

McDermott told Bloomberg that if the regulator can say to banks “this is what your competitors do and they manage to do it in a profitable and compliant way so you should be able to, that’s much more powerful”.

Earlier this year, complaints data from the FCA showed Barclays was the most complained about bank in the second half of 2014. The bank topped the list despite a 1 per cent drop in complaints on the first half of last year.