Mis-sold Investment Specialists - Call For a Free Expert Claims Assessment
0808 163 1659

Back to blog overview

Back to Dogging Customers? Lloyds Bring Back Sales Targets

Published on:

Lloyds Bank has hit the press for all the wrong reasons in recent years. Historically the bank has been accused of being a serial offender when it comes to investment mis-selling; in 2013 it was rocked by a highly publicised FCA investigation that resulted in a record £28million fine, several official apologies and a solemn promise to clean up its act.

Now the bank has allegedly brought back performance targets for staff.

Unions have accused Lloyds of slowly reintroducing performance targets (or “goals”) in the guise of a new sales scheme known as Project Labrador. Members say the targets are creating a pressurised environment similar to the kind that led to an FCA investigation a mere two years ago.

The banks have clearly demonstrated that putting pressure on staff to meet sales targets increases the likelihood of investment mis-selling, and it would seem that Lloyds is once again encouraging its advisers to place revenue above the interests of its customers.

So, what does this mean for you?

Pressurised sales advisers

As a result of the investigation’s findings two years ago, not to mention the public and media outcry that ensued, Lloyds Bank was quick to act. One of the first steps it took was to scrap Project Beagle – the scheme previously in place which encouraged staff to meet sales targets in order to receive high bonuses and avoid demotion.

The FCA investigation revealed that staff at Lloyds were under so much pressure that one employee even deliberately sold financial products to himself, his wife and a fellow colleague in order to avoid demotion.

After the authority hit Lloyds with a hefty fine, the bank created a scheme focusing on “customer needs met”. Ostensibly, this seemed to place emphasis on the services provided to the client, rather than on making a sale. According to the unions, however, the reality of the situation was that nothing had changed.

In 2014 a whistle-blower, at the time working in a London branch of Lloyds Bank, said: “The bank pretends to focus on customers but in reality they only care about sales, sales and sales. They’ve increased our branch sales targets this quarter, making it more difficult to hit. They relabelled our sales targets as ‘customer needs’ but we are still encouraged to push products. In my opinion, it’s just a disguise.”

Project Labrador – Same Scheme, Different Name?

Despite being previously found guilty of promoting a ‘sell or be demoted’ culture among its workforce, Lloyds now seems to be adopting similar tactics in a bid to reignite flagging sales.

Project Labrador was introduced, according to the bank, to focus on customer service and ‘break the link between product sales and variable pay’. Yet it seems to actually have a stronger focus on sales targets than official statements suggest.

Under the terms of the new scheme, Lloyds employees must sit an exam if they miss a sales target. This remains the case in all circumstances, regardless of whether they know the product well or not.

Of course, this applies pressure on the employee, which in turn, could lead to them pushing certain products in a bid to avoid being subject to individual actions if they fail to hit the required ‘standards’.

The union claims: “Our main concern with the bank’s new approach is that the pendulum will swing back to the old style management techniques if changes are not introduced properly.”

“We’ll go back to informal peer comparison tables, individual output targets through the back door, and management by spreadsheet if that Bank’s not careful.”

Read more about Lloyds investment mis-selling, if you think you have been mis-sold an investment product, contact us today.

References:

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25330366
  2. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/lloyds-bank-fined-record-28m-by-fca-over-toxic-sell-or-be-demoted-scheme-8997262.html
  3. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/11/lloyds-bank_n_4423782.html
  4. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-2616969/Lloyds-Bank-branch-sales-targets-continue-increase.html
  5. http://www.ltu.co.uk/news_item/436

Request a call back

If you'd like us to call, please fill in your details

Why choose us?

  • Hassle-free process.
  • No lengthy paperwork to complete.
  • No upfront fees.
  • Your own dedicated claims expert.
  • Over £80 million reclaimed for clients.
  • Award-winning business.
More About Us

Speak to our friendly experts

If you feel you've been let down by your bank or financial adviser please call us.

Call today 0808 163 1659

Customer Stories

We've helped thousands of people win compensation as a result of unsuitable financial advice.

William Thornley I’m absolutely delighted with the service we got from Goodwin Barrett, I couldn’t believe how easy it was and i’ve nothing but praise for them
Alan Parton This was an excellent result which my wife and I never expected. My sincere thanks to you for such an excellent achievement, I cannot thank you enough
Stuart Snowden After sending a report to Santander, they agreed with our findings and awarded Mr Snowden an amount of £7,000 made up from a refund of the losses together with interest and compensation.
William Miller This was a fantastic result I never expected. My sincere thanks for such a prompt and efficient service.
Margaret Long I am so grateful to your company but especially to Steve Wise for getting me the money back
Janet Rynkiewicz We reported our findings to Halifax and within a matter of weeks had secured our client the sum of £26,700 in compensation.
Fred Hardman After we sent a detailed complaint to Halifax, Fred was delighted to receive £6,916 from the bank in a matter of weeks.
Stephen Montague Having investigated the complaint Lloyds TSB agreed that the advice was unsuitable and agreed to pay the clients £10,700.