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Lloyds TSB staff fear misselling pressure

By Andrea Tryphonides - 17-Nov-2005

Group union survey reveals culture of centralised pressure to boost sales

Over a third of Lloyds TSB mortgage specialists feel pressured to sell products they know clients do not need or cannot afford, says the firm's staff union.

A survey by the Lloyds TSB group union says 39 per cent of mortgage salespeople feel that unremitting pressure to meet demanding sales targets week after week is responsible for misselling inappropriate products.

Union members are concerned that the expected integration of the Lloyds TSB branch network and C&G branches under a single management structure will create an even stronger focus on sales targets for all staff that remain working in C&G branches.

In a recent statement, executive director UK retail banking Terri Dial said she wanted the retail business to grow by 45 per cent over the next 15 months, with much of that to come from 'mortgage business.

In May 2005, Morgan Stanley published a report indicating that 17 per cent of Lloyds TSB's total profits came from payment protection insurance, which led to the Citizens' Advice Bureau making a super-complaint to the Office of Fair Trading which has led to an FSA investigation into the issue.

The union says it is set to meet with senior managers next week to voice their concerns on the pressure to sell within the group. The independent union has 45,000 members but does not have any representational rights with the 4,000 C&G staff.

A union spokesman says: "The survey shows that there is centralised pressure across the group that is the culture of things here. They have to ease the pressure off, other- wise we will be dealing with misselling issues."

FSA spokesman Robin Gordon Walker says: "On frequent occasions, Callum McCarthy has said that banks have to be careful with their incentive structures. Where there is too much commission targeting, there can be misselling."

A Lloyds spokesman says: "We are fully committed to FSA guidelines on respons- ible lending. We believe we provide excellent and sound advice to customers."