Lloyds Bank are apparently writing to customers like me who have a Lloyds credit card but don't use it very often. We are being told that unless we use the credit card within the next thirty days or close their account they will be charged a £35 fee. And there was me thinking that extortion was illegal...
Footnote: Lloyds TSB announced a £4.25 billion profit today. I am a Lloyds customer. But possibly not for much longer. The trouble is, the Big 4 are all the same.
I think the small claims procedure is available for this purpose. Just sue them in the same way that millions have/will for unauthorised and excessive charges.
Talk about the unacceptable face of capitalism. And I'm a Tory.
Iain, you must surely have noticed what tends to come out the back of black horses by now. And you can't put a credit card fee on your rhubarb, either.
Apply for a new Lloyds card. If that is accepted in the next 30 days (without a joining fee), close the old account.
So lets see. Whats Gordons options.
He could stop the banks taking the piss, and start arresting bank excecutives that intentionaly "ripp off" their customers.
Or he can carry on letting the banks steal your money and then get the BBC to make a big fuss about it. Then fine the Banks with a windfall tax. Thus stealing all the stolen money, that the banks stole from you.
No prizes for picking which pocket Gordon will pick anymore. Because after ten years he neads all the cash he can get his gruby hands on..
This is another example of behavior by banks, or supermarkets or power companies, or local authorities and, more than anything, the Labour government, that people are being 'farmed'.
No matter how carefully arrangements are checked before being agreed, or outgoings calculated, or most economical suppliers found, as soon as the average nose starts to get out in front a bit there they all are upping the unavoidable costs of living.
Quite soon those who declare everything, pay by direct debit, budget, shop each week for the household with care and attention, insure themselves and their vehicles etc., are going to stop being co-operative (or even compliant).
Once people are driven, by too high direct and indirect taxation levels and all the rest, to consider their position improved by not behaving co-operatively it is very hard to get back to where we are at the moment.
I believe the police bloggers are getting closer to the truth with thier views:
I don't see what the problem is.
if you don't use the credit card, then cancel it.
if you do use the credit card, then you don't incur the fee.
if you don't use the credit card but don't cancel it, you are costing the bank money (to service your card) and not generating any revenue (whether it be via interest or the retailers). why would you expect this for free?
marco boogers is wrong by the way. a legal challenge to this fee would fail - although that may change when certain provisions of the new consumer credit act come into force in april this year.
I don't work for lloyds
[we should be careful not to jump on bandwagons]
Yes, it can be very expensive for banks if customers do not use their credit facilities ... all those meetings to discuss what the problem might be. Much better to piss them all off and get them all to go away!
But once the CEO realises that customers are defecting to competitors, then charges like this tend to disappear. Except that some CEO's are not that smart.
You always have the option of a Post Office account.
Titter ye not
Hatfeld Girl - You are very astute!
This weekend, I'll have to retax the car via the web.
They already know I'm insured and have an MOT.
I just can't remember reading that when I paid for these 'essential' items, I told them to tell the people in Cardiff!
I hope they also saw me outside the Dartford Tunnel today, as they would have learned several new interesting words, heard a screeching voice nearing insanity, while counting all the revenue from that bloody infernal tunnel.
Oh the irony!
Bit like the big 3 political parties eh Iain, not saying they think tax is way too high, that we have lost control of the country, political correctness taking over, immigration (especially from the EU) uncontrolled...
Lets have some decent choice
And you thought "colder than a banker's heart" was just a figure of speech?
Gives new insight as to why Pretty Boy Floyd was a folk hero:
"As through this world I've traveled/I've seen lots of funny men/Some will rob you with a six-gun/And some with a fountain pen"
Can I just correct you there, you are not a Lloyds customer, and 'Lloyds' did not write to you.
They are 'Lloyds TSB' and have been for over 5 years.
What you are forgetting is that in the world of swings and roundabouts, having zero percent deals on credit cards, and have credit interest on current accounts, and free banking for the majority, is going to cause pain somewhere else.
It is a bit like car insurance. Yonks ago everybody paid pretty much the same and didn't complain as there was no competition.
Then along came people offering cheap insurance for the over 50s.
Then cheaper insurance if you had over 4 years no-claims. Then even cheaper insurance if you didn't drive a hot-hatch. Well obviously somebody, somewhere was having to pick up the astronomical premiums if they didn't fall into these categories. Usually the children of someone in the 'safe categories' who would pass the begging bowl to mum and dad.
Exactly the same thing is occurring in banking. Although at least it is not like in Ireland where each c/c carries a 30 to 40 euro tax.
And if you think all this is bad, wait until genetic testing takes off, and you can't get health or life insurance if the DNA 'computer says no'. Welcome to the Orwellian world of capitalism, folks...
That's probably part of the reason why, having ten years ago having been the driving force in British banking, Lloyds are no longer one of the "big four" to which you refer, but in fact a very distant fifth.
Perhaps their management, like you, just hadn't noticed!
I used to work for Lloyds TSB in the marketing department years ago.
Bizarrely, if you have a lot of money it doesn't necessarily mean you are a good customer. Wealthy customers don't run up overdrafts, incurring interest charges and occasionally penalty fees.
Wealthy people are often smart people who aren't stupid enough to run up large bills on several bits of plastic.
Okay, wealthy people may invest and buy insurance, but again that costs money to 'recruit' them.
If you are less well off, and in debt, and up to your overdraft, and you get stung for some penalty charges it is more difficult for you to leave, as the borrowing has to be taken on by your new bank.
On the other hand, if you are a 'higher value [or potential value]' customer, the bank has discretion to refund those charges. The bank knows which customers not to refund the charges to, they are the ones which are of lower value - this is known in common parlance as the 'piss off to Barclays' strategy.
There was a plan to offer different levels of customer service to the different sectors or segments of customer, but this was never really brought in due to the complexity.
Of course, you could try getting your charges refunded - but if you are successful, they will just close your account anyway, since somebody has to be paying for the cost of running current accounts.
If they can't find a small number of mugs to do it, then they will just bring back monthly charges for everyone. Come on, Iain, I thought you and the Tories were all in favour of 'market forces' ???
p.s. Iain - the real reason people like you are having to pay is that 'Lloyds' people like you have lots more cash than those poor 'TSB' types in the 'grim' oop North.True.
garypowell - it is a nice try, but the thing is, after the 'wasted years of Peter Ellwood' [ex-LTSB CEO] they had to hire some hot-shot Americans, Eric Daniels and Terri'fying' Dial.
So if the rozzers went out looking for them, they'd be on the first plane back over the other side of the pond. As Mr Dale points out in the other post, 'porous borders', 'not protecting British businesses' and our crap education system...
Sorry to go on, but I don't think some people on this thread have quite realised the careful timing of this announcement.
Some people don't use the cards a lot, but have a big debt 'parked' on cards which they often move around to get the best deals. These 'rate tarts' were a problem for the banks.
There was no point bringing in the swingeing charges 12 months ago - people would have just taken the business to MBNA / Capital One etc.
No, they have waited for the time when many credit card providers charge a fee for 'balance transfers' onto a 'zero percent' deal.
A lot of thick people ran up big debts on cards confident they could pay it off slowly [years in some cases], shuffling the cash every 6 months onto a different interest-'free' deal. Well, guess what, the music has stopped, and the 'chair' you are sitting on is where that debt is going to stay until you have paid it off, with interest.
Or you could transfer to a place where you will pay no interest, but a hefty big upfront fee instead.
Folks, there is a reason when you look on the Observer's weekly list of biggest FTSE100 companies by descending market valuation why 5 of the top dozen companies are the big banks. They are bigger, badder and smarter than you. Get used to it.
Perhaps the banks are like political parties.All the same.
you can always move to the co-op bank
It used to be people who robbed banks now it is the banks who rob people. We will soon have victims mugging the muggers. There needs to be a stop put on this madness!
I worked for Lloyds TSB for 9 years. Who do I bank with now? Nationwide.......Good rates of interest, great internet banking, competitive pricing, free foreign transactions for an international jetsetter like you Iain.
There's no charge for my advice on this one!
PS Lloyds thrives off the customers who just can't be bothered to swap and carry on paying their high charges. Oh fuck! actually, I'm still a shareholder so just carry on as you were......
Competition, competition, competition.
I have several cards with puny balances and one with a whopping great balance and I don't pay any interest or service charges.
Ditch Lloyds and get yourself onto money supermarket!
come on - it's capitalism, it's market forces, it's competition. This is exactly what a Tory should be proud of. Lloyds TSB are not the only credit card bank. Use the card and there is no fee or don't use the card and there is a fee or close the account and get a card with another bank.
What is the problem?
The Nationwide BS is recommended without reservation for a current account, savings accounts, mortgage etc. I left the Midland, as the HSBC then was, some twenty years ago because they seemed to think that they could have my money for nothing, but that I should pay confiscatory charges for the few days I had a few pence of theirs.
Go on Iain spend £5 on your card and screw them
I can absolutely recommend the Nationwide, in agreement with Anna Sole. I used to operate a policy of changing banks whenever they pissed me about and went through Barclays, Natwest & TSB in short order. Was with the Co-op until they closed down all their shop branches, then moved to Nationwide over twenty years ago. I've never had reason to complain at all. Come on Iain, be a free marketeer & change!
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