Barclays Bank signI went to a branch of Barclays Bank in central London yesterday in order to make an international bank transfer. Should be fine you would have thought? London, international banking centre etc., etc.

Firstly, you have to fill out an enormous form in the bank – it takes ages. But that all seemed to go OK, despite the time it took to fill in everything. Then this afternoon I receive a message on my mobile phone voicemail:

This is A. N. Other from Barclays. We have had problems sending your international bank transfer in Slovene Tolars. Can you tell us how much you want to send in Pounds Sterling?

Why can they not transfer money in Tolars? And above all, why are they asking me for the exchange rate? They are a bank after all.

This then leads me on to a general complaint I have about British banks: why can they not offer international bank transfers from the Barclays online banking? As far as I can tell no standard UK Bank offers this. Do they just assume that normal British customers never have to move money around?

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