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By Julia Bradshaw | Published Aug 01, 2012

IFA slams Lloyds ‘wild west tactics’ on vulnerable client

Lloyds TSB has been accused of using “wild west tactics” on a vulnerable client to keep him from transferring money out of his accounts, IFA David Penny has claimed.

The managing director of Somerset-based Invest Southwest claimed the Taunton branch of Lloyds TSB had “harassed” his client, who has a known medical condition, after the client decided to use Mr Penny as his IFA and move his money from the bank and into other investments with other providers.

Mr Penny claimed his client was first told by Lloyds TSB he had to go into the branch to speak to a financial consultant to discuss the money in his account.

After he saw the consultant, the client went to Mr Penny for advice.

Mr Penny said: “He felt obliged to go to the bank. He was made to feel that there was no choice.

“As an IFA, and the fact this man was the friend of one of my clients, I helped him put together the correct advice for a high level of income, taking into account his inexperience as an investor.”

However, Mr Penny claimed his client then received a number of calls from a Lloyds adviser asking him to come in to sign up to the bank’s advice.

When he declined, Mr Penny claimed the adviser turned up on the client’s doorstep to encourage him to do so.

When he found out about the home visit, Mr Penny wrote a letter to the bank, requesting that Lloyds leave his client alone. The letter was counter-signed by his client.

The letter, seen by Financial Adviser and dated 21 June, said: “Please refrain from marketing your business to me in any way, by post or telephone with immediate effect. I have taken advice from an IFA who is also a friend and I have decided to deal with him exclusively.

“Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact my adviser, David Penny.”

Mr Penny claimed someone from Lloyds TSB then called his client that evening to say that there were “no hard feelings”.

However, when it came to transferring the funds, which totalled £50,000, Mr Penny said his client wrote a letter to the Lloyds TSB branch, dated 19 July, requesting a transfer.

Five days later, the transfer had still not gone through and Mr Penny’s client received a letter from the branch, seen by Financial Adviser, requesting a call with the client regarding the transfer.

Mr Penny claimed that, during the call, the Lloyds TSB staff member claimed the transfer had not happened because Lloyds TSB was concerned for the client and wanted to make sure the transfer was in his best interest.

The Lloyds TSB employee said the signature on the transfer request letter had been “shaky” and she wanted to make sure the client had enough money left for daily living expenses.

Mr Penny said: “Lloyds TSB disobeyed two clear instructions to stop marketing to my client. This is a vulnerable client who the bank repeatedly disobeyed instructions in order to sell products.”

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