Why NatWest tops my “Scrooge” list

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Since Katie Morley’s investigative column came back in March, she’s approached hundreds of companies to solve your financial problems and win back a total of £3.7m, a new record.

Every customer-facing company deals with unhappy members of the public from time to time, and how they handle these complaints can tell us a lot about them.

Over the past nine months, I’ve been touched, angry, and everything in between when it comes to the way companies have handled complaints. These are the most generous (The Santas) and meanest (Scrooges) companies of 2022.

Santa Clause


Barclays coughed up more than £2m for Telegraph readers in 2022, mostly for vulnerable and elderly fraud victims.

In March, Barclays was accused of playing a ‘deal or no deal’ game with an elderly victim who lost £885,000 in an elaborate scam.

After his son lodged a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman, Barclays offered to pay back 50% of the money (£442,500), warning that if the man dared reject the offer and proceed to the next stage of appeal for a “final decision”, it could reduce the yield to 0. pound.

After sharing that column, Barclays paid back the £885,000 in full.

In July, Barclays coughed up £829,000 for a pensioner with advanced Parkinson’s disease who had been conned out of her life savings. Barclays had previously refused to investigate or pay her a penny in compensation, but after she provided the bank with a detailed picture of events, he agreed to pay back 100% of her losses.

Octopus energy

A reader who had just lost her husband of nearly 50 years called me to tell me of her heartache when she learned he was receiving palliative care at home, Octopus Energy reduced her annual energy bill. They also sent an electric blanket and had pretty flowers delivered to their door. The lady’s story went viral on social media with thousands of posts. Well done Octopus Energy.


What do you get when you cross some potentially toxic Kinder eggs with Amazon’s dodgy algorithm? The answer in April was £200,000 in unnecessary refunds, with sellers being forced to foot the manufacturer’s recall bill, which was in no way their fault.

Well done to Amazon UK for being so quick to catch up and pay out of their own pocket to compensate sellers, while allowing buyers to keep their refunds. It was a beautiful result in all respects.

Legal and public affairs

In September, a recent widow was dealt a double whammy when her late partner’s life insurance company, Legal & General, told her the £138,000 she had expected would go to his secret wife instead. It left her completely distraught, as she was unable to pay her mortgage without the money.

Her father wrote to me for help and, fortunately, Legal & General admitted they had made a mistake. It paid the woman £138,000, but what’s more, it appears the secret wife may also be getting damages. Fair Play for Legal & General.



Not much has changed at NatWest, which remains the worst bank when it comes to fairly compensating fraud victims.

In October she dismissed a complaint from a woman who had been referred to a Ponzi scheme by a wealth advisor, causing her to lose £400,000. The story infuriated the readers, who listened in horror to the recorded audio of the referral.

Then in November the bank refused to help a small business that had also lost £400,000, but this time to a phishing email scam. Either way, my heartfelt efforts to get customers refunds fell on deaf ears.

green energy

This mobility vehicle supplier showed its true colors when it refused to refund a defective motorbike that an old man bought for his disabled wife who sadly died before she could ride it.

At first the company tried to resist my calls to treat the customer according to the law, but eventually, and only once the customer himself had a stroke, did he reluctantly give in and offer a refund.

British Gas

The repeated poor treatment of customers meant that British Gas was one of the most written about companies in 2022. From overcharging vulnerable customers, to shocking treatment of inmates and a general unwillingness to go out of its way to help those in need, I’m starting to wonder if British Gas was indeed fit to serve the public. To her credit, she has solved every problem she has set her sights on.

Genesis One

This property developer enticed our reader into paying a £42,000 deposit for a new home, only to have the project postponed indefinitely, leaving her homeless for months. But even I couldn’t get her money back. This company and its managers should be ashamed of themselves. Despite the manager’s assurances to me, her deposit was never returned.

#NatWest #tops #Scrooge #list

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