Just a few random thoughts and pictures

And that’s tax payer’s money, right?

I’ve worked for several very large companies over the years, in retail and utilities, so I should be used to this level if corporate idiocy by now, but sometimes they can still amaze me, in all the wrong ways.

Before I start I should probably say that I don’t even pretend to understand all the finer points of banking in general, or the legislation surrounding it. This is simply a gut reaction from someone with their own financial problems who is amazed at what she sees….

Almost every UK bank has received “bail out” money in the last few years, millions and millions of pounds of tax payer’s cash diverted their way to help them stay afloat, mainly because if we lose too many of them our whole economy will fall with them.

Let me be clear, I am not at all faulting this course of action in general, I understand the reasons behind it, if only on a superficial level, and realise it was needed if we’re to ever dig our way properly back out of the mess our economy has become.

What I do find fault with, is having to sit and watch while one of those banks (and I doubt it’s just one) spends that money in the most ridiculous ways.

Most of my family, and many of my friends, bank with LloydsTSB, and in some cases have been doing so for decades, having started out with one or other of them when they were two separate entities.

I personally had a simple savings account opened for me with TSB by a relative when I was a child, and have remained with them mostly because I could see no real reason to switch. So I watched through all the upheaval we all suffered as a result of their merger with LLoyds, and while somewhat bemused by it all stuck with them.

Now they’re parting ways again, which if I understand correctly they’ve been forced to do by new banking legislation, so I will once again be back with TSB come 2015 as my closest branch (which I actually never use as it’s not that close at all) is one of those selected to be in that part of the two separate banks they will become.

I knew this would mean a few small things would have to change, because at the very least my cash point card bears what will by the end of 2015 be the name of a bank that no longer exists.

So what has me so pissed? It’s pretty simple really, it’s the horrifying waste of money that I’m seeing from my bank while they make the changes.

Let me quote you a little something from one of the several dozen letters they’ve sent me about the coming changes, some of which I might add I’ve received in triplicate on successive days (the trees they’re killing for that is horrifying too);

“From August (2013) onwards any replacement cards we send out will be TSB branded. All cards will be replaced with TSB cards by the end of 2015.”

Okay, that sounds simple enough yes? So you’d think what they plan to do is simply send out new cards to everyone, as their current one expires, with the new branding.? Or start sending out new cards with the new branding after August, a batch at a time, to gradually swap everyone over? Sounds perfectly sensible right?

It’s not nearly as simple as all that.

My current card for example has an expiry date of late 2014, so I expected them to simply swap it then, because that’s the most obvious thing to do, or if they needed to make the changes sooner than that, to send me a new one out later this year.

What they’ve done however is send me a new card NOW, which is still LloydsTSB branded, despite the fact that my current card is still valid. Which means they’re going to have to issue me with yet another new card next year with the new branding.

Now I realise it’s not just a simple case of branding in many cases. Things like account numbers might be changing too in order to properly separate the two companies etc, but could they seriously not waited a whole TWO WEEKS until August and just sent me out a TSB branded one then?

No matter how I try to get my head around it, I simply cannot come up with a single reason why they’d need to send me two separate cards in under a year, in order to make the changeover.

Incidentally, I am not an isolated case. I’ve very briefly checked with others, and it seems they’ve done this to several other people too, despite the fact that they too had perfectly valid cards already and could also have easily waited a couple more weeks for their new ones.

I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s costing them to reissue all these cards, but it wont be cheap. There’s the costs of making the cards of course, and each new card comes with at least 3 sheets of A4 information and letters etc explaining the changes yet again (like we haven’t already had dozens of letters telling us this) and there’s the postage on top of that.

And yes, before anyone points it out, I am aware that unlike RBS, Lloyds Banking Group have actually paid back the majority of their bail out money*. What I’m wondering though, is that with waste like this, are they likely to need to another bail out before too long?



June 19, 2013 - Posted by | A Bit Of A Rant, Random Thoughts |

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