Lloyds 'paid £1m to over 20 staff'


Lloyds Banking Group is expected to reveal this week that it paid more than 20 of its staff £1 million or more last year.

The figure, which will be disclosed in the taxpayer-backed lender's annual report, means there were around 770 bankers in this pay bracket at the five big high street firms last year, the Sunday Times said.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
Lloyds is predominately a retail bank with most of its million-pound bankers working in its small wholesale banking division, which has to compete for staff with big international investment banks.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio was paid £2.5 million last year and is due to have details of a new long-term bonus scheme disclosed in the report.

Barclays has already revealed that it paid 428 staff more than £1 million last year, while there were 95 at Royal Bank of Scotland, 204 at HSBC and 19 at Santander.

The disclosures on millionaires club pay have emerged because of new guidelines enforced by Vince Cable's business department.

Lloyds remained in the red last year with £570 million of losses in 2012 after taking more mammoth provisions relating to mis-sold payment protection insurance.

Staff shared a £365 million total bonus pot but one of the conditions for Mr Horta-Osorio's payout is that the Government must have sold at least a third of its stake above 61p - the average price at which shares were bought during the bank's bailout in 2008.

The controversy on bank pay reignited last week when it emerged that Rich Ricci, the investment banking chief at Barclays, sold £17.6 million worth of shares that were awarded in bonuses deferred from previous years. The bank's regulatory disclosure was made on the day of the Budget.

Barclays said the payments were historic and that future bonus payments would be much lower.

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Lloyds 'paid £1m to over 20 staff'

More than 46,000 of 106,000 the complaints received by the FOS in the second half of last year related to payment protection insurance (PPI). And the organisation is expecting to receive a record 165,000 PPI complaints in 2012/2013.

The huge numbers are due to the PPI mis-selling scandal that should now be a thing of the past, but there is no doubt that the insurance, which can add thousands to the cost of a loan, is highly unpopular!

(Pictured: Martin Lewis after the PPI payout ruling)

Complaints about mortgages jumped by 38% in the last six months of last year, the FOS figures show, compared to an increase of just 5% in investment-related complaints.

Common gripes about mortgages include the exit penalties imposed should you want to sell up or change you mortgage before a fixed or discounted deal comes to an end, and the high arrangement fees charged by many lenders.

While there is nothing in the data released by the FOS about the number of complaints relating to savings accounts, hard-pressed savers have been struggling with low interest rates for several years now.

You can get up to 3.10% with Santander's easy-access eSaver account, but many older accounts are paying 1.00% or less and even this market-leading offer includes a 12-month bonus of 2.60% - meaning that the rate will plummet to just 0.50% after the first year.

Banks are imposing the highest authorised overdraft interest rates since records began, with today's borrowers paying an average of 19.47%, according to the Bank of England.

A typical Briton with an overdraft of £1,000 is therefore forking out around £200 in interest charges alone. Coupled with meagre returns on savings, it's enough to make your blood boil!

While authorised overdrafts may seem expensive, going into the red without permission will cost you even more due to huge penalty fees.

Barclays, for example, charges £8 (up to a maximum of £40 a day) each time that there is not enough money in your account to cover a payment.

If you need to send money abroad, the likelihood is that your bank will impose transfer charges - and offer you a poor rate of exchange. Someone transferring a five-figure sum could easily lose out by £500 or more as a result.

The good news, however, is that you can often get a better deal by using a currency specialist such as Moneycorp.

Automated telephone banking systems, not to mention call centres in far-flung parts of the world, are one of our top gripes - especially as we often encounter them when we are already calling to report a problem.

In the words of one disgruntled customer: "What is it about telephone banking that turns me into Victor Meldrew? Well, maybe it's the fourteen security questions, maybe it's the range of products that they try to push or maybe it's because I'm forced to listen to jazz funk at full volume while my phone bill soars.

"Actually though, I think it's because the people I eventually speak to rarely seem able to solve the issue I'm calling about."

The days of a personal relationship with your bank manager are long gone - for the huge majority of us at least.

When ethical Triodos Bank investigated recently why around 9 million Britons would not recommend their banks to a friend or relative, it found that almost a third felt they were not treated as individuals. Another 40%, meanwhile, were simply disappointed with the customer service they received.

When you're in a rush, the last thing you want to do is wait in a long queue at your local branch.

Researchers at consumer champion Which? recently found that most people get seen within 12 minutes, but you could have a much longer wait if you go in at a busy time. Frustrating stuff!

The Triodos Bank research also indicated that the bonus culture that ensured the bank's high-flying employees received large salaries, even when it was making a loss at the taxpayer's expense, was hugely unpopular with consumers.

About a quarter of those who would not recommend their current banks said this was the main reason why. And with RBS executives sharing a £785 million bonus pool despite the bank, which is 82% publicly owned, making a loss of £2 billion last year, it's not hard to see why.

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