Lloyds Still Pressuring Staff Despite Mis-Selling Fine
Since 2009, there’s been one thing after another for the vast majority of the banks in the UK in terms of scandals, trouble and generally one bad thing after another.
They have recently been fined another £28 million for promoting a ruthless sales culture but it would appear that these millions of pounds in fines don’t seem to have the desired affect on the banks.
Let’s Put the Size of the Fine into Context Shall We?
Lloyds profits in 2013 stood at £3,205 million. A £28 million fine is therefore 0.87% of their profits. With the average UK income standing at around £26,500 that’s the equivalent of a £230.55 fine.
Not really a deterrent when you consider the profits generated by the tactics of Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Black Horse generated almost £2.4 BILLION in investments and premium payments.
Referring back to the average UK salary again. That’s the equivalent of receiving a £230.55 fine, but receiving a bonus of £19,843.20!!!
Will the regulators clamp down further? Don’t hold your breath.
Aggressive Sales Tactics & Targets
An email from within Lloyds has emerged a just a week after Lloyds’ bill for mis-selling PPI has topped £10bn which reveals the aggressive sales culture that still exists within the bank.
The email was sent by an as yet anonymous regional manager to a branch and it shows how employees at the branch are set targets.
We can assume that, in all likelihood, emails of a similar nature are a common occurrence across the bank.
Targets set targets to make as many appointments with customers as is possible.
In the email, it goes on to mention that they should be helping customers with credit cards and uses the term ‘needs met’ to describe sales.
Given the historical conduct of UK banks and lenders we can safely say that ‘needs met’ does not reflect on the needs of the customer, it will no doubt be the needs of the bank as it always is.
As well as all of this, staff are set targets to hit for the number of ‘referrals’ they get.
This means that when they pass a customer on to another department of the bank to where they will try to sell the customer a different product or investment. In the industry, this is known as ‘cross-selling’.
Snippets From the Email
In the email, the manager piles on the pressure and reprimands the branch staff for not hitting targets and for falling short.
One extract from the letter reads: ‘I will require the number of lending appointments booked again by email before you go home from every branch. Detail needed – how many lending [sic] booked for the next 5 days, how many advisers in the business.’
Also, talking about the number of daily appointments that the advisers are expected to make in a week, it advises: ‘I’ll give you a clue that 1’s, 2’s and 3’s are simply not acceptable.’
Another extract from the reads as follows: ‘9 customers helped with a credit card (which embarrassingly is our busiest day of the week!!!).
With volumes and productivity being measured, I don’t understand how 43 advisers can only help 20 customers with an internet (a free product?) and 0 with a credit card (another free product?)’
The letter then went on to warn staff who didn’t hit their targets that their bonuses will be cut: ‘Come on team you are better leaders than these numbers are telling me. You have ten working days left this quarter to make a difference to your half year.’
Mark Brown, of Lloyds Trade Union, which represents staff at the bank and has alerted the City watchdog to the email, describes the email as a clear threat to the staff.
Talking about the email, he said: “It’s not even implied. It’s gratuitous, offensive and menacing.’
The Union has since come out and accused the bank of being unfair and setting unachievable targets which, they added, ‘drive the wrong kind of behaviours, to the detriment of customers potentially.’
The email was written ad sent out in June of this year, just 6 months after Lloyds were fined a record £28m for promoting a sales culture in their branches and throughout the company in which a number of different workers were told that they would be receiving half of their pay if they didn’t hit targets that were set for them.
There were also ‘champagne bonuses’ put in place for selling customers certain kinds of investments that they didn’t want or need.
Members of staff got that desperate at one stage that one salesman sold himself insurance, his wife and a colleague in order to stop his salary from being cut.
Does this behaviour sound right and fair to you? No, that’s because it isn’t. The banks have had enough out of the population of the UK in the last few years, just look at the PPI mis-selling scandal and the next big one, mis-sold packaged bank accounts.
If you think you may have been mis-sold PPI or a packaged bank account, get in touch with us here at Your Money Claim.
We’re used to beating the banks on a daily basis, and we’d love to help you.