Actually, despite the headline, I didn’t set out to invent a new word – I just had a light-bulb moment. I’d been watching new Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins on television explaining that (following various scandals including the rigging of LIBOR) his bank was changing. Here’s his speech at the time. Customer focus and service seemed to be the new mantra. At the time I thought to myself: ‘Let’s hope it’s true’ but I feared it might just be – and here’s my new word – greedwash*.
If it was a real word then this is how you might find it in a dictionary:
Greedwash (noun) – an attempt by a large highly profitable organisation to try to distract customers from its corporate failings
I hope – and to be fair, it is early days to turn around the culture of an organisation the size of Barclays Bank – but based on my dealings with Barclays last week, it has a very long way to go.
There is some good news for Barclays is: the local members of staff I dealt with were pleasant and very quick to return calls. The bad news is the bank seems completely disinterested in keeping loyal customers or understanding and reacting in a meaningful way to customer concerns. In short, it wants to maximise profits and doesn’t actually care about customer satisfaction….
(* Anyway, just before I wrote this blog entry I Googled “Greedwash” and was disappointed to discover that I’d been pipped to the post and that it’s already a word. Oh well, they say great minds think alike…..!)
March 20th 2013 Update
It seems it was all greedwash. From the BBC website today: “Barclays awards shares worth £39m to nine executives” and “Chief executive Antony Jenkins, who took over the bank last August, received shares worth £5.6m and sold £2.9m of them.” For the full story click here