Recently the Co-op said that urgent action was required to stem a “crime epidemic”. It said that anti-social behaviour and violence in its stores had almost doubled to 300,000 incidents this year. Now, we are not saying that Lloyds and Halifax staff working in branches are being abused and attacked in the same way – some of the images we have all seen are truly shocking. However, the number of members reporting abusive – and in a small number of cases violent – customers in Lloyds and Halifax branches has increased significantly over the last few months. That’s unacceptable and Lloyds mustn’t tolerate it. Our members don’t come to work to be abused, especially for things that are outside their control.
We are aware that Lloyds and Halifax managers have been on a course entitled “Keeping colleagues safe from abusive customers”. All staff will be doing a 2-hour Teams course covering the same topic in addition to doing a 1-hour a self-learning module online.
What’s ironic about the managers course, which won’t be lost on all the attendees, is that at the top of the list of reasons why customers get abusive is that queues are too long because there aren’t enough staff in branches. Moreover, the ‘Banking Made Easy’ standard of only opening one customer till for cash is making things significantly worse. And customers are being sent into branches by Telephony, Business Banking and Fraud to sort issues out but get frustrated when it can’t be done or it takes too long. Again, frontline staff are being put in the firing line, literally in many cases, because of the Bank’s actions. It’s not good enough for Lloyds to do courses on combating abusive customers when its policies are the reason they are abusive in the first place. Lloyds need to do more, quickly. If it doesn’t it will face legal challenges.
Members with any example of abusive or violent customers should email us at email@example.com. In the meantime, members with any questions can contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 262868 (Choose Option 1).