Company hijack Barclays to flog diet pills

Company hijack Barclays to flog diet pills

Have you been in a Barclays branch lately, and found yourself being accosted by some salesperson trying to flog you diet pills and miracle health creams?

You're not alone - the bank has been housing controversial health companies, and bothering people while they're waiting to get served by one of the branch cashiers.

Customers are also being asked if they'd like to become part-time sales staff for these businesses. It's all very unsightly.

So have Barclays lost their minds? Not quite. You see, the bank set up a community programme which was meant to help small local businesses out. The idea would be that little companies could get on the high street without bankrupting themselves, and Barclays could feel good that they were doing their bit to help.

However, some rather large companies have swooped in, such as Herbalife, Forever Living, and Arbonne. That'd be the small business Herbalife who sponsored David Beckham's LA Galaxy, there.

Now, people who work for these companies are technically self employed. A bit like Avon vendors and what have you, so these companies aren't doing anything wrong as such.

Mick McAteer, founder of consumer rights organisation the Financial Inclusion Centre, says: "It seems a real shame for Barclays' efforts to help entrepreneurs to be ruined by a failure to make the proper checks on the firms allowed to sell to customers."

A number of branches across the UK have been spotted in Barclays branches, and people have taken to Twitter and Mumsnet to vent spleen about it all.

One of the criticisms is that, by appearing in a branch, it gives the impression that Barclays are endorsing these companies. In addition to this, there's concerns that older people, who rely on branches, could be taken advantage of by salespeople.

A Barclays spokesperson is looking into it all: "[Some of these] companies have not met our guidelines. Following a review, we will now be prioritising the scheme for local community groups to ensure they continue to benefit from the free space in branches."

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