According to the results of the bank’s latest engagement survey, the number of staff who felt their reward package fairly reflected their role fell by 11% compared to 2020. 40% of Lloyds staff said their reward package was not good enough. In fact, improving pay and benefits was one of the three issues staff said Charlie Nunn, the new Group Chief Executive, needed to make a priority. He’s got the perfect opportunity to do that when it comes to the 2022 pay round.
The retail price index (RPI), which is the only definition of inflation that includes housing costs, hit 6% in October. The Bank of England expects inflation to rise further to possibly 7% in the spring.
When combined with the effects of recent tax changes (including the new social care levy and freeze in the personal allowance), inflation at this level has significant implications for living standards. According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, Britain’s leading independent microeconomic research institute, “an individual with a salary income of £30,000 in April 2021 (and post-tax income of £24,060) would need to see nominal wage growth of 7.1% to April 2022 to maintain the same standard of living given the forecast 5% annual inflation rate”. If we use the same example but based on the RPI measure of inflation, then the wage growth figure is just over 8%. That’s how much Lloyds staff will need just to stand still.
What the bank is proposing to offer Lloyds staff is a pittance. It’s a joke of a pay pot.
Our concern is that Accord, which is institutionally incapable of disagreeing with anything the bank does or says, won’t agree to the pay pot but, more importantly, won’t do anything to oppose it either. And let us not forget what Accord said about last year’s pay deal it with Lloyds. According to the Accord General Secretary it: “signed an agreement to implement the proposals with effect from 1 April but, with rising inflation…. virtually everybody in LBG will experience a fall in the real value of their salaries this year”. If staff are not going to suffer another, much bigger fall in the real value of their salaries next year, then Accord needs to grow a spine and oppose the bank’s pay offer.
In any event, staff won’t have to wait long to see the colour of the bank’s money. We expect an announcement any day.
The elephant not in the room?
It seems that ‘cold calling’ customers is now back in fashion.
Banking consultants have been told they must contact all those customers who recently visited their branch to find out if they were told about the bank’s new £750 cashback mortgage offer. The implication is that Customer Service Advisors are, for reasons not explained, deliberately not telling customers about the new offer. It’s also the case that during those conversations banking consultants are being encouraged – because we all know there are no targets anymore – to engage the customers in conversations about their mortgage needs. We know that mortgages are important to the bank’s growth plans but such a cack-handed approach to sale management is reminiscent of the old days.
We think this is a local initiative and is not being directed by the bank centrally. That said, we think the bank should stop it. Members who have been asked to ‘cold call’ customers should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (chose Option 1) so that we can monitor how widespread the practice is.