Money Grouse: Lloyds' concern only skin deep

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The Independent Online
ELIZABETH Harding of St Albans, Hertfordshire received a concerned letter from the manager of the Lloyds Bank branch in north London where she has maintained an account since she moved house.

'I notice that you have been using your account less in the last few weeks. It may be that there is a simple explanation . . . I wonder if there is anything I can do to help improve our service to you. Perhaps you could ring me for a brief chat.'

Mrs Harding could not believe her luck. At last someone was going to take her feelings about the bank's shortcomings on board. She wrote back: 'The principal reason (for not using my account much) is that you have closed the branch near my home and the nearest branch is now accessible only by car. This makes paying in cheques difficult.

'The second reason is that the Lloyds cash dispenser near my place of work gives out incorrect information about withdrawals - it tells you what the person before you withdrew, not what you yourself requested. The branch that controls the dispenser tells me it is powerless to correct the matter as it is a software fault. This makes me nervous about using it.

'Thirdly, as I work in my maiden name I receive many payments in this name. Under the new money laundering regulations it is now impossible to endorse cheques over, so I have to keep two accounts, one in each of my names, as payments regarding my household come in my married name.'

Back came the reply: 'Naturally, when the volume of transactions on your account decreases we are concerned that you are dissatisfied with our service and would like every opportunity to rectify the situation. Clearly this is not the case in your circumstances.'

Well, at least Lloyds has never called itself the listening bank.

Write to Money Grouse, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. Please do not send SAEs or original documents as we cannot guarantee to deal with every letter personally.

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