Over the next few weeks Banking Consultants will be contacting those customers to see how they are coping in the current crisis. The bank says the calls are for customers to: “talk about anything they wish. You should be entirely led by the customer. It’s an opportunity to listen, empathise and help where you can”. The Banking Consultant can give general banking advice, if that’s what the customer wants, but if the customer needs any transactional advice regarding their account then they must be provided with the ’Dedicated Over 70s’ helpline number. The calls are expected to take 15 minutes and there will be no follow up discussions.
It’s a good idea and we are sure it will be appreciated by many customers. However, there is no good reason why Banking Consultants need to travel into a branch, with all the risks that involves, to do this work when all they need is a telephone. The bank can provide Banking Consultants with the necessary contact details and they can telephone customers from the safety of their own homes. If the bank systems need to be updated then that can be done at a later date. If it’s more complicated than that, the bank should provide Banking Consultants with laptops to enable them to do the work.
A few weeks ago, Ms. Jo Harris, Managing Director Lloyds Community Bank, said: “I want to be clear that we do not intend to call on colleagues to travel to work unless it is absolutely necessary to provide an essential service”. We welcomed that commitment at the time. Is it absolutely necessary for Banking Consultants to do this work from the branches? We think not. Ms Harris needs to explain why it must be done in branch. What the bank is proposing is a clear breach of the Government’s guidelines – people who can work at home should. One could be forgiven for thinking that the bank doesn’t trust branch staff to work from home.
0% Of Nothing, Is Still Nothing
Giving up a bonus which you know is not going to be worth very much is no big sacrifice in the current climate. There will be some who argue that it’s deeply cynical especially when you have a 99-year old war hero walking the length of his garden 100 times raising more than £26 million for the NHS.
The Group Executive Directors and Group Executive Committee are voluntarily giving up their bonus awards for 2020. They are not giving up any salary or long-term incentive awards. And let’s be clear the 2020 Group Performance Share is going to be severely reduced because of COVID -19 anyway. So, what Mr. Horta-Osorio and members of the GEC are actually giving up is not very much at all.
We would have been more impressed, and so would staff, had Mr Horta-Osorio and his Executive Committee given up some of their very large basic salaries. Ms. Alison Rose, the Chief Executive of RBS, is giving up 25% of her salary and will get no bonuses for 2020. Nathan Bostock, Santander’s UK Chief Executive is donating £1million of his total salary to charity. Joe Garner, Chief Executive of the UK’s largest building society, Nationwide, has opted to reduce his pay and pension by a fifth. He also agreed to sacrifice any bonus which may be due for him for the financial year 2019-2020. According to Nationwide the reduction in his base salary and pension equates to a cut of around £228,000. Jes Staley, Chief Executive of Barclays, is giving up a third of his fixed pay for six months to charity. That will be worth some £392,000. Even Andy Hornby, the ex-Chief Executive of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) before its spectacular crash, has agreed to a 40% pay cut.
Over to you Antonio.
Members with any issues they would like us to deal with on this should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).