Lloyds Banking Group has admitted there were “issues” with the way some of its employees were handling complaints over payment protection insurance (PPI), with banking campaigners urging customers to seek alternatives.
An undercover investigation by a Times reporter found that call centre staff at Royal Mint Court in central London were “[playing] the system”, so that those looking for compensation over wrongly sold PPI didn’t get it.
The call centre in question was operated by audit firm Deloitte, whose contract with Lloyds was terminated in May.
In a statement reported by Sky News, Lloyds said, “Some of the comments made by trainers to the Times reporter are not endorsed by Lloyds Banking Group and we believe they do not reflect our high training standards or our policies.
“We believe the comments to be isolated and they are now being addressed. Following the discovery of these issues and under the guidance of a new supplier the employees are currently undergoing retraining in line with our policies and procedures.”
Lloyds, which is 40% taxpayer owned, has so far set aside the biggest sum of all banks for mis-selling PPI to customers – believed to be up to £6.5 billion overall. The bank was fined £4.3m for its role in the scandal, and is also being investigated over rigging the Libor rate.
The bank recorded a £570m loss in 2012 but still paid chief executive António Horta-Osório a bonus of over £1.4m.
For campaign group Move Your Money, this latest revelation is yet another reason why customers should actively seek out more sustainable and responsible banking alternatives – many of which are profiled in Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Guide to Sustainable Banking 2012.
“This is no surprise. Customers tell us that the big banks goad customers to take the matter further in the anticipation that they won’t”, said chief executive Laura Willoughby.
“You just have to look at the proof; the Financial Ombudsman rules in favour of the customer more often than not.”
She added, “Customers should not allow themselves to be bullied. Fight and then get out. You deserve to be treated better. Now is the time to move your money from Lloyds.”
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