Lloyds bank planning to scrap millions of passbook savings accounts
Lloyds bank planning to scrap millions of passbook savings accounts in controversial move feared to hit elderly the hardest and trigger yet more branch closures
- Lloyds wants to ditch 2.6m passbooks used by customers at its Halifax arm
Lloyds bank is drawing up plans to scrap millions of popular passbook savings accounts in a move campaigners fear will discriminate against the elderly and pave the way for more branch closures.
Documents seen by The Mail on Sunday show Britain’s biggest lender wants to ditch 2.6 million traditional passbooks used by customers at its Halifax arm.
Another 500,000 with Lloyds bank and Bank of Scotland, owned by Lloyds, will also lose passbooks.
They will have to use mobile apps or cash machine cards to manage their nest eggs. And Lloyds plans to give customers as little as two months notice of the change when it notifies them later this year.
‘This will be a massive blow for millions of customers who are digitally excluded and don’t do their banking online,’ said James Daley of campaign group Fairer Finance.
Documents seen by The Mail on Sunday show Britain’s biggest lender wants to ditch 2.6 million traditional passbooks used by customers at its Halifax arm
‘Going into a branch with a passbook is how many of them have done their banking for their whole lives – it’s all they know.
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‘At the very least Lloyds needs to offer options to give their most vulnerable customers continued access to branches. Two months notice is not enough.’
Tory former Pensions Minister Ros Altmann added: ‘This is deeply disturbing. It clearly could lead the way for more branch closures which is particularly problematic for older customers.’
Lloyds Banking Group has shut 1,300 branches since 2015. Some 79 have gone this year, with another 76 due to close by Christmas, says campaign group Which?
Halifax accounts going include Monthly Saver, Saver Reward, Extra Income Saver, Bonus Gold, 60 Day Gold, Passbook Saver, Save4it, Variable ISA Saver and Liquid Gold, advertised by Minder’s Arthur Daley in the 1980s.
These passbook accounts will be replaced by Instant Saver, Instant ISA Saver and Kids’ Saver accounts – all of which offer mobile banking and cash machine cards.
Lloyds bank and Bank of Scotland accounts being culled include Instant Gold, Flexible Savings, Service Account, Saver Reward, Bonus Gold, 60 Day Gold, Extra Income Save and Monthly Saver. They will be replaced by a Flexible Savings Account, Service Account, Instant Access Savings Account, ISA Save and Children’s Saver.
Lloyds insists no customer will be worse off and some savers may be given a higher rate.
Mark Brown, general secretary of the BTU union which represents Lloyds bank staff, said: ‘This is about stopping pesky customers from going into branches to pay money into or withdraw cash from their passbook accounts. And when the customer footfall drops, Lloyds will use that as an excuse to close hundreds more branches across the network.’
Halifax accounts going include Monthly Saver, Saver Reward, Extra Income Saver, Bonus Gold, 60 Day Gold, Passbook Saver, Save4it, Variable ISA Saver and Liquid Gold, advertised by Minder’s Arthur Daley (pictured) in the 1980s
Santander, owner of the old Abbey National, recently axed passbooks, as did Barclays when it bought Woolwich. Nationwide no longer offers new passbook accounts.
Lloyds said that 80 per cent of its 26 million customers do not use a passbook or visit a branch. Passbooks haven’t been offered to new customers since 2015.
It added: ‘Since July, we have been speaking to customers in branches about the change, helping us to understand any personalised support that they may need.
‘We’ll soon be writing to all passbook customers to let them know what happens next and the date their account will change. Customers can continue to manage their account at the branch counter, and request a Cashpoint card, alongside the option to receive regular free paper statements.’
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