Lloyds insists it won't repeat past advice failures

Lloyds insists it won't repeat past advice failures

Lloyds Banking Group aims to attract £50bn assets in two years by investing in several aspects of its business, including technology, intermediated business and in-branch advice.

The financial services giant announced in its results presentation yesterday (21 February) it wanted to capitalise on the fast growing pension market having successfully repositioned the business over the past seven years.

Lloyds will invest £3bn in building a comprehensive "omni-channel approach" to serving its customers, investing in "digitising more customer journeys end-to-end" as well as building up its financial planning workforce across its branches, and building on the way it works with intermediaries.

Antonio Horta Osorio, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, said: "We see a significant opportunity as the UK's only integrated financial services provider to meet our customers' banking and insurance needs truly holistically.

"We want to create the number one branch network to serve complex needs and the number one UK digital bank with open banking functionality."

But he added the bank would not repeat failures of the past. 

Lloyds stopped providing advice to those with less than £100,000 to invest in 2012 and later faced a £28m penalty for the way staff were incentivised to sell retail products.

A Lloyds spokesperson said: "We are investing in our multi-channel approach. We will be looking to meet more complex customer needs in branch, which includes mortgages, moments of truth such as bereavement and representative access, along with private banking customer advice.

"Financial planning and retirement needs will be met through our multi-channel approach including IFAs, with execution-only and guidance for retail banking customers who do not want, or cannot afford, advice."

Over the course of two strategic plans (GSR1 and GSR2) the bank invested heavily in technology and its digital transformation, building what it considers the largest digital bank and number one banking app in the UK.

With GSR3, which spans from now to 2020, the bank seeks to broaden its digital offering, including plugging in third party providers, modernising its back office data systems and investing in the skills of in-house staff.

Lloyds did not specify whether it would enter the robo-advice market but it is one of a number of banks working with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as part of its advice unit, a project aimed at increasing access to low-cost advice.

Lloyds is targeting a 15 per cent share in the corporate pensions new business market by 2020 (it currently has 10 per cent) by integrating the Zurich workplace platform, which it acquired last October.

It will also seek to build on existing corporate client relationships, predominantly through Scottish Widows, for retirement provision.

The bank seeks to see off competition by offering a better customer experience through digitising employer and employee journeys.

However, it said it still considered intermediaries to be "vital partners to our business" and that a big part of its strategy was to further strengthen these relationships.