What Halifax is really doing was made clear by Mr Peter Steel, Customer Channels, Managing Director, in a recent call to managers. He said that the Bank had room to reduce almost 2 million additional counter transactions. That’s in addition to the transactions that will be saved when it withdraws passbook accounts next year. He also said that Halifax’s branch roles were increasingly service heavy: 63% compared to 43% for the UK average. He implied that was one of the reasons why Halifax all channel sales declined by 10% leading to a 2% decrease in overall product holdings. It’s clear that Halifax and Lloyds are moving towards the universal banker role that many competitors including HSBC introduced years ago. We will cover that in a further Newsletter to members.
Mortgage Advisers Are Next
We can also expect that over the next few months increasing pressure will be put on in-branch mortgage advisers to “optimise” productivity. That’s business school speak for getting them to sell more.
According to Mr Steel, Halifax mortgage advisers are 50% less productive than top quartile performers in other organisations. Mortgage advisers can expect the sales pressure to increase.
Share Of Wallet
The old language of product holdings and sales per customer is now increasingly being used by senior executives in Halifax and Lloyds, especially those who have recently joined the Group. Mr Steel – who joined Lloyds in April – told branch managers on a recent call that it took 2 years for Halifax customers to reach the level of product holdings achieved by peers in 3 months. It takes 5 years for Halifax customers to close the gap to UK peers in terms of average product holdings. Mr Steel then talked at great length about digital sales v branch sales, which we won’t publish in this Newsletter because it could be deemed to be price sensitive, but the language is clear: product sales and product holding per customer are now key measures for the Bank has it tries to deepen customer relationships to hit its target of additional revenues of £1.5 billion by 2026. The next stage will be for the Bank to manage branch managers and staff against those measures.
We will no doubt return these issues again in future Newsletters.
In the meantime, members with any questions on this Newsletter should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).
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