What a lot of bankery
Poor Lloyds TSB. What with the banking crisis and the horsemeat debacle, those guys can’t get a break. And now this – the Co-op have pulled out of buying 632 Lloyds branches, citing – guess what? – the economic downturn.
The sale of the branches, called (in predictably wanky style) ‘Project Verde’, was ordered by European regulators as payment for being bailed out by the government when the financial crisis hit. It was intended to create more competition for Lloyds, who are now 39% owned by the government, as part of their equally wanky-sounding ‘Challenger’ initiative.
If the Co-op hadn’t backed down, Lloyds customers would have been given the option to switch to the Co-op, and it would have become the UK’s seventh biggest bank. But despite saying it would buy the branches in 2012, the Co-op has gone off the idea, saying it would affect their members’ returns. Where that leaves the Co-op bank on the high street is anyone’s guess. Will they pull out and just concentrate on funerals and half price Mr Kipling’s French Fancies?
Now Lloyds will try to sell the branches as a stand alone bank – but in the meantime the branches will operate as TSB. And these people get paid millions in bonuses to shuffle stuff about and change their minds and call things ‘Project Verde Challenge.’
How about opening the Bank of Fun, where instead of money you get some balloons and a nice sit down? And a cash machine that gives you free biscuits? It would make more sense than any of this.