Last year the main in-house staff union – Accord – reported that Lloyds Banking Group had agreed to extend the Colleague Concessionary Mortgage Schemes for another year. It said the agreement:
“demonstrates again that positive results are achievable through a constructive approach to industrial relations and negotiations”.
Fast forward 12 months and Lloyds Banking Group has just announced that one of the key benefits enjoyed by staff is being withdrawn. So Accord’s “constructive approach”, which is simply appeasement and means it does what it’s told and in exchange will be given the odd crumb from the Bank’s table, has resulted in staff losing one of the few benefits they had. And let us not forget that when the Bank introduced the 0% pension cap, again with the connivance of Accord, it said the money saved would be used to fund benefits, like the concessionary mortgage schemes, for all staff. Well that didn’t last very long, did it.
And how did Accord react to the loss of this valuable benefit. Apparently it “is really bad news” and “an awful decision”. That’s it. If that’s what happens when these so called ‘unions’ sit round the table with the Bank, our decision to walk away seems all the more prophetic. At least put up a fight, show some backbone!
The Bank says “the decision follows a detailed review, which has taken onto account the lower take up of borrowing, the impact of Benefit in Kind tax for many colleagues and the cost of providing the scheme”. This decision is simply about saving money but the staff who will be most affected are lower rate taxpayers, which covers the vast majority of staff in Lloyds Banking Group.
Helping Antonio Prosper
In a cynical attempt to influence the results of the 2018 Colleague Engagement Survey, the Bank waited to announce the withdrawal of the Concessionary Mortgage schemes until after the survey closed on 6th October. However, when the survey was launched on 20th September it announced extensions to the severance terms and changes to maternity and paternity rights. How calculating is that? The Bank must have calculated that more staff would be worse off as a result of the withdrawal of concessionary mortgages so it delayed the announcement.
What’s equally sickening is the fact that the principal beneficiary from the results of the Colleague Engagement Survey is Antonio Horta-Osorio, Group Chief Executive. In 2017 his part of the Group Ownership Share Plan was worth £2,257,000 and achieving the Colleague Engagement Score was worth £169, 275 to him personally. The average outstanding mortgage for the 11.1 million households with mortgage debt was £119, 937. Mr Horta-Osorio will probably get at least the same amounts again for 2018.
This is not over. We will be writing to members again on this subject next week. In the meantime, members can tell us what they think by contacting the Union on 01234 262868 or they can email us at email@example.com.