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Working Lunch Tuesday, 6 May, 2003, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Reviewing the situation
Many Lloyds TSB savers could have been shortchanged because the bank failed to review their policies properly.

The omission came to light when Working Lunch viewer Mike Watson received notice that his 10-year policy was about to mature.

He was expecting it to deliver a guaranteed 7,616 - it was actually paying out just 5,090.

Investigations showed that the bamk should have reviewed his policy at five-year intervals to see if he needed to pay more into it.

Lloyds TSB customer Mike Watson
Mike Watson: Not satisfied
But that hadn't happened, and Mike could be one of hundreds of Lloyds TSB customers in the same position.

A teacher from Huddersfield, he had taken out the flexible savings plan in 1993, paying 53.90 a month.

The sum assured was 7,616.

So when Mike received notification in November that the policy was about to mature, he was surprised to see a shortfall.

After many letters and phone calls, Mike was told the problem lay in the small print.

Wrangling

Lloyds TSB should have reviewed the policy after five years and then "at such dates as the company shall determine during the five years ending on the maturity date of the policy".

The bank admitted it was in the wrong, but there then followed protracted wrangling over how much Mike should receive.

  • He was initially offered 7,500.
  • This was then raised to 7,600.
  • He finally agreed to accept 8,000.

    But Mike is still none too happy.

    "In view of the fact that they admit liability and all the hassle I've had with them, I'm not satisfied," he says.

    Options

    So how many others are in the same boat?

    Lloyds TSB says it's a small percentage of its customers, running into the hundreds.

    The bank is writing to those affected to tell them what their options are.

    It says it is aiming "to ensure customers are put in the position they would have been in had we adhered correctly to the policy guidelines".

    But it says it can't promise other savers that they'll get the same deal as Mike Watson.

  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's Simon Gompertz
    "They didn't have a review and the plan didn't achieve the target"
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