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Red-faced Barclays shamed by BBC

Barclays faces investigation after a BBC programme revealed that the bank's sales team breached data protection rules and misled customers.BBC's Whistleblower show sent two undercover reporters to work at Barclays call centres for nine-month periods, where they claimed to have witnessed employees making sales calls to people who had requested not to be contacted, accessing client files for no valid reason and lying to customers to seal deals.One of the journalists, who infiltrated the bank's Doxford call centre, said: "I've seen customers misled, lied to and treated with contempt. I've seen people charged for financial products they neither asked for or knew they had." The allegations thrown up by the BBC will now be fully investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the watchdog for the data protection act, which will decide whether Barclays is guilty of breaching privacy and electronic communications legislation.Barclays said in a statement: "We take the allegations made by the programme very seriously and are conducting our own internal investigation. Where there has been improper behaviour we will take action to improve what we do."The ICO has requested a copy of the bank's internal findings and its policy regarding telesales.

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