Media drips

The takeover of ABN Amro by Barclays continues to generate considerable coverage both here and across the English Channel. It cannot have been pure coincidence that the BBC decided Wednesday night was a good moment to broadcast the results of a nine-month undercover operation into life in a Barclay’s call centre.

The programme showed bank staff lying and cheating to make a sale and customers being misled. The reporter was also coached on how to spot good customers. ‘Welsh men always want a new car or home improvements,’ she was told.
Barclays said the programme was ‘not in any way representative’ of the way it did business.
Meanwhile, the FD noted that ABN Amro boss Rijkman Groenink bought shares in his bank five days before the merger talks were made public, giving him a €27,000 paper profit. A spokesman said the purchase had been planned since November.

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