D-Day veterans turned down for bank account

Lloyds apologises after saying appeal fund would 'provide no benefit'

A bank that was rescued with £17bn in state handouts refused to open a "return to Normandy" account for D-Day veterans, on the grounds that it would be a profitless nuisance.

The Normandy Veterans Association asked Lloyds to set up an account for the "Overlord List" – an appeal in The Independent that raised £20,000 to take 500 ex-servicemen back to France on 6 June for the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

The request, to a Bristol branch of Lloyds, was received enthusiastically. However, the NVA's secretary Peter Hodge was later told the bank's London headquarters would not approve what it deemed a "temporary" facility because the cash would be withdrawn before the summer and would therefore "provide no benefit" to Lloyds.

The advertising executive Trevor Beattie, who has personally pledged to sponsor 30 veterans from the West Midlands after hearing of our appeal, accused Lloyds of showing "rank insensitivity". "We hear a lot from bankers about risk," he said. "We, as taxpayers and citizens, are suffering from the absurd risks banks took. And now this bank refuses to provide a simple, risk-free service for people who risked everything on our behalf. It beggars belief."

In a letter to the Bristol branch manager, copied to the Lloyds chairman Sir Victor Blank, Mr Beattie said: "Your blighted profession has just slipped another rung. As if banking had not soured its already crass reputation enough. Not happy with helping bring our economy to the brink of a financial abyss, it now seems that lending a hand to a group of proud octogenarians to whom we all (yes, even bankers) owe everything is beyond you. You are not fit to lace the boots of those we will be honouring in June. Sleep well."

Mr Hodge said the NVA asked Lloyds for a special account because it was anxious to make sure the cash and cheques were handled safely. He said he found the bank's reluctance impossible to comprehend, adding: "Their main point was that such an account would be difficult to organise and provide no benefit to Lloyds."

Last night, a spokeswoman for Lloyds TSB said: "We are extremely sorry for the upset and offence we caused Captain Peter Hodge. Better judgement and more flexibility should have been exercised by us."

She added that "in order to express our deep regret", the bank would pay £700 to sponsor two veterans to make the return trip to Normandy. However, the apology came too late for the NVA. Mr Hodge, 67, has instead set up an account with HSBC, which said it was "honoured and delighted" to help with the fundraising campaign.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... with this review
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam