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Barclays Reviews

Updated 22 November 2017
4,271 reviews

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3.6
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Barclays CEO Jes Staley
Jes Staley
701 Ratings

4,271 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance varies around the group (in 172 reviews)

  • Nothing really other than long hours which is what all banks have (in 148 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Community Banker - Essential Banking in Coventry, England
    Current Employee - Community Banker - Essential Banking in Coventry, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Barclays full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Opportunities to progress
    Reputable company
    Good work life balance

    Cons

    There aren't any cons so far

    Barclays Response

    10 Nov 2017 – Head of Resourcing

    Thanks for your positive and encouraging comments, really great to hear.


  2. Helpful (36)

    "Investment Bank: Big Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in London, England
    Current Employee - Software Developer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Barclays full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I wrote a review just over 2 years ago and I'm still here at Barclays Investment bank – on the whole it's a good place to work. Unfortunately due to lack of career opportunities I feel it's time to leave but decided to write this review so others can learn from my experience over the past 3 years working at Barclays.

    First of all, it's a big bank. A lot of your experience will be determined by those around you rather than the company as a whole. Also, the banking group led by CEO Jes Staley is actually made up of smaller parts – as of 2017 it’s essentially two major legs:

    Barclays UK
    - The retail bank (typical high street stuff),
    - Barclaycard (UK only)
    - UK wealth business (rich clients)
    - Corporate banking (small and medium firm finance)

    Barclays International
    - Corporate banking (large global firm financing)
    - Investment bank (trading global markets)
    - Barclaycard (outside UK)

    These two legs (designed to ring-fence risky stuff away from conventional banking) are both supported by a service company, Barclays Services Limited. The service company is where all the non-revenue generating parts such as IT and other operational back office teams are (they share the same resources); this company supports both the UK and International legs. Each bullet point is a separate company so it’s a very big group. Barclays predominantly focuses on the UK and US markets, clients and firms. Someone working in the retail bank will experience a totally different career to those in the investment bank -there are pros and cons for each of them.
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    I work in the investment bank middle office (supporting front office – sales and traders).

    Jes Staley, CEO. He knows what he is doing, comes across as humble and has sensible plans. Jes makes sure his ‘generals’ carry out what needs to be done, especially around restructuring Barclays for the future (thankfully a lot of big changes are now done). Totally agree with Jes about the need to have a diverse set of people to work with (i.e. no old boy clubs) and the need to have better technology; he understands the bank today is actually a tech firm and IT is not a cost center – it is the bank. Also emphasizes that Barclays has a role to play in society and the greedy self serving banker has to be stopped (not too sure how this works with him taking such a large salary though…)

    The brand. It looks good on your CV.

    Learn on the job. You don’t need to be up to your eye balls in fancy qualifications to do most of the jobs. Studying finance helps but honestly, it’s not something that everyone needs as the roles across the teams are so varied you have to just have a good attitude and work hard to get it. Like I said – most a just well paid grunts with easily transferable skills to other offices in any industry.

    Diversity. People don’t care about your background, ethnicity or anything like that – it’s what you bring to the table and your ability to do your job. We have people fresh from school, 18 years old on apprenticeships and those that have PhD maths doing some very clever stuff.

    Work Hours. The culture of “lunch is for wimps” is long gone and working hours are pretty good. No one frowns at you for going to lunch or leaving on time, although most stay beyond their contracted hours to finish the job. A big cultural shift from the days before the 2008 crash. Also everyone is being encouraged to work from home occasionally as this saves desk space (in turn saving the bank money from building costs, etc)

    The People. On the whole they are a nice bunch of people to work with. They are always busy but are approachable; I can’t recall anyone saying “avoid so and so because you’ll get shouted at”. Everyone is down to earth and very hard working (except a few management types). Some people here are very smart with PhDs and other big qualifications – don’t worry though as not every role needs a rocket scientist.

    Work Environment. It’s quite good to be fair – you get multiple monitors, virtual desktops, access to a lot of software. Some of the systems are old but they are looking to update them over time (will take years). Realistically it’s doing alright though – haven’t quite got to everyone using touch screens but it’s not ancient (Win 7 or Win 10). Nice open plan office area, canteen, meeting rooms, etc but certainly not like Google (unfortunately).

    Cons

    Okay, so now you know the scale of the firm it’s become apparent that it is very hard to climb the corporate ladder. Each company such as the investment bank has its own large hierarchy with thousands of people working for it; due to the numbers involved it is often the case of not what you do but rather who you know which will allow you to progress. You can get someone incredibly talented at analyst level (bottom rank) but will never get chance to move up and really shine due to the odds against them – this means that good people leave as they aren’t progressing as quickly as could have been or they get bored and want new work. Based on what I’ve seen people usually leave the firm after 2-3 years (sometimes just after 1 year) at lower levels as it dawns on them that you are playing a numbers game.

    Politics. Okay, I’ve yet to work for any company where people don’t play politics; it’s a fact of life. Unfortunately I feel that those that have made it to pretty good positions (VP, Director level) are reluctant to do good job and end up falling into the politics game. I hear very senior people saying “work together as one company” but in reality in each team managers are playing politics and looking after their own interests. No one from very high up ever visits the ‘ground troops’ and so they are out of touch of what it’s like back on the floor (I assume they are always in important meetings being told everything is fine).

    Pay and bonuses. I said this a few years ago and it’s still the same – unless you are one of the lucky few forget about being handed a cheque with a long number on it. Those days are well and truly over. Sure, some lucky senior people will get a big reward but most of us are just well paid grunts. Speaking of which the pay is good (not amazing), however when you work it out per hour it’s honestly not above and beyond any other place. My contract states my working hours are 9-5. Every day I work 08:30 – 17:30, which is alright (it used to be a lot worse 3 years ago!). I don’t get rewarded for all those extra hours though so it makes my bonus almost insulting each year. Every year people go into “the room” expecting to be told you’ve just got a big fat pay check and every year you get told “here is your 2% pay rise and £1,000 bonus”. Grateful for it but believe the media hype of millionaire lifestyles.

    Annual reviews. Seriously – there isn’t any point if I’m honest. There isn’t a structured career path for most to take. It’s like most jobs – take your seat, work hard based on your role, think outside the box by making stuff better and learn some things along the way. There isn’t anything I’m aware of where they have a structured career path, despite HR making out there is such a thing. My manager is woeful at best; it’s like taking career advice from a fast food manager with politics thrown into the mix.

    Leadership. Same as everywhere else I’ve been. Lots of managers but not natural leaders. A lot of managers are not real leaders, despite what they view themselves as; happy to delegate and be the chief getting paid the most but somehow avoid listening to concerns, helping nurture talent, provide knowledge to those below, working with other teams. Usually a case of “I’m in charge do what I say” rather than “I have something to teach”.

    Pigeon Holed. People feel like they are stuck in certain roles and are not given the chance to move. For example those in middle office have a huge barrier to those working in front office. A complete “us and them” attitude – both don’t know what is really involved by either side. The front office see everyone else as a cost and waste of time; the middle office see sales and trading as people making constant mistakes and not appreciating what we do for them (nothing would go through unless other teams are there supporting the money makers).

    You made it! Now you can read about that dreaded one star rating that makes you question if the whole company is rotten to the core (it’s not; it’s down to who you end up working with, promise). :)

    Advice to Management

    Take the time to go back to the grass roots - there are lots of rough diamonds that are being hidden by a political layer of middle managers. A lot of these people are being lost as they never get a chance to shine.

    Barclays Response

    25 Aug 2017 – Head of Resourcing

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. Really well balanced and factual which is great as often people write with emotion in their reviews.
    I really hope others take the time to read... More


  3. "Good culture, no progression"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Communications Specialist in London, England
    Current Employee - Communications Specialist in London, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Barclays full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Great culture
    - Good pay, average for financial services

    Cons

    - Slow progression, not helped by fines and hiring freezes
    - Bureaucracy still exists, sad to see

    Advice to Management

    - Be open and honest, the newspapers are delivering news to us before you do


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Treasury"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Barclays full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good culture and progression opportunities

    Cons

    Structural change and in certain future of job location


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Essential Banker"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Community Banker - Essential Banking in Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    Current Employee - Community Banker - Essential Banking in Newcastle upon Tyne, England

    I have been working at Barclays full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits. Understanding company and focus a lot on your work life balance. A lot of the staff I work with will occasional tweak their working hours when other things are a priority such as their families etc.

    Cons

    Terrible salary. Started on 15.5k which is absurd considering how much responsibility I have and how much cash I handle each day

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on keeping morale up. It's a tough job which isn't rewarded with the salary so Barclays needs to focus more on keeping you there for other reasons.


  7. "BGI Case Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Barclays full-time

    Pros

    Flexibility Salary People Development Benefits

    Cons

    Tight deadlines
    Management
    progression
    project management
    other countries teams


  8. "Been here for 29 years in total & have moved around a lot & done a few different roles so it’s been very varied"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sponsorship Executive in London, England
    Current Employee - Sponsorship Executive in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Barclays full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The benefits, the bonus, the people, the environment are all good. Free tea & coffee is always handy to have too.

    Cons

    Location & building is so busy all the times & if transport goes down you are stuck until it is sorted

    Advice to Management

    Keep going as you are but show more flexibility for staff with families


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing company with great potential for a great career!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Essential Banker
    Former Employee - Essential Banker

    I worked at Barclays full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great team.
    - Great opportunities for personal and career development.
    - Varied day to day working. Many different areas in which you are trained on.
    - Really great fast paced environment.
    - Great benefits as a full time member of staff which make the staff feel valued such as performance related bonus.
    - Really enjoyable place to work once you are trained, as there is a lot of knowledge to learn and job fulfilment.
    - A great job for someone who really enjoys making a difference.
    - Some of the more senior staff are really supportive.
    - Great company ethics concerning female empowerment and morals. A really supportive company for women who want to further their career goals.
    - Great culture day to day with management support if a customer is particularly difficult which is a great aspect of management.

    Cons

    - Often lots of customer pressure based on you if you are in the banking hall as you are often the first point of call.
    - Left feeling overwhelmed and untrained at the beginning of the job - training should be longer and more in-depth. The online training does not prepare you for the job as much as it should and there should be longer practical training to enable best customer service.
    - As a temp, there were no benefits including no sick pay or holiday pay.
    - Management often place lots of pressure on the front of house staff off the back of MPS customer service calls. We are often told conflicting ideas to approach customer service i.e. We must man Zone A (meet&greet zone) then told after customers say we aren't helping enough to not man Zone A. Told to encourage customers to use Assisted Service Counters, but often getting feedback that as customer service providers we are too pushy/intrusive. The zonal system does not work and needs to be reworked by people who have actually been party to the first line of defence within customer service as they have the best idea of day to day service and know how there banking hall works best.
    - MPS system for customer feedback is poor as the questions are open ended and long which results in discrepancies between MPS calls due to differential customer opinion on good customer service. Essential bankers often facing the brunt of this and not getting their good work recognised.
    - Management are not pro-active enough and do not show banking hall presence - often showing a begrudging attitude to being asked to cover the banking hall- therefore it is often condescending to staff to be told how to improve their service as management do not know the day to day running of the banking hall and thus can not devise plans.
    - All staff should be trained on all aspects of the business before progressing as often it leaves the banking hall short as people can not cover the counter and therefore leaves people alone in the banking hall - which is not only dangerous in case of emergency but also reflects poorly on customer service.
    - Some staff are on old contracts which is unfair to other members of staff. Staff often got to leave early or not work saturdays because of their old contract - this should be updated to ensure there are enough staff provisions for the whole day - not only part of the day as it forces pressure on the staff who complete the whole day.
    - Management encourage competition between staff which creates an uneasy atmosphere. Praise is often not given on merit - as managers often have their favourites (which is not unique to barclays but should nevertheless be worked upon to ensure all staff feel satisfaction within their job.) Cohesiveness of the team would also improve alongside a healthier working environment if this was fixed and looked at.
    - Technology at Barclays is among the best within the banking sector, however often it fails which is not only embarrassing but also reflects poorly on customer service. Barclays should enable all technology is piloted and works well before rolling it out in to all their branches. For example the Kiosk and its software& privacy must be looked at and improved upon to improve customer service. Counter software should be updated and easier to use. iPad's should be able to action prompts and the software should be improved to ensure it doesn't time out constantly which results in poor customer service as often staff take customers out of the counter queue to help them but due to technological error have to place the customer back in to the queue.
    -Marketing also needs to be improved upon. Often posters are released with poor wording regarding branch closure or hour reduction which results in unhappy customers. Again, essential bankers face the brunt of this. Marketing should ask essential bankers their opinions or create a poll in some instances - or even take someone on who has had front line experience because the company would benefit from correct wording and knowledge of someone who has dealt with customers on a day to day business.

    Advice to Management

    - Improve training.
    - Immerse yourself in all aspects of the business with passion and drive to ensure a happy and motivated work force and a fair understanding of customers needs/wants and then create an action plan to improve customer service.
    - Improved technology (logging technological complaints... often they are brushed off and not logged).
    - Improved marketing.
    - Some of your managers and personal bankers are really great and don't get the recognition they deserve. It would be beneficial for an anonymous questionnaire to be polled to your staff. They could tell you where you are going wrong in management styles and also within areas of customer service and these are the things that should be worked upon. Often as Essential Bankers we are not listened to - Despite the fact that we are the ones who have the most practical knowledge day to day.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Great company to work for, lots of benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Specialist in London, England
    Current Employee - Operations Specialist in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Barclays full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, flexible working possible , you can work locally if you want to, some managers are very friendly, long sick pay, great share scheme, cheaper barclays products including insurance.

    Cons

    Cuts everywhere, 1 person does 2-3 people jobs, sickness is not managed properly, people are misusing the generous benefit a lot. Booking holiday system isnt fair, same people get always xmas off some never.

    Advice to Management

    Yearly reviews need to be done differently, 3 grades are not enough. More training for everbody, people are lucking basic knowleďge. People need to be rotate in their jobs to become fully flexible.


  11. "Good Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in London, England
    Current Employee - Analyst in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Barclays full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly people and supportive management. Great work life balance.

    Cons

    Less clear path to progression at lover levels

    Advice to Management

    n/a

    Barclays Response

    10 Nov 2017 – Head of Resourcing

    Thanks for your review. Great to hear your positive comments.
    We are working hard to promote career progression and positive career paths for our colleagues. I'd really encourage you to look at My... More


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