From Mr David E. Bland.
Sir, I am old enough to remember the extent to which the local Trustee Savings Bank was cherished as a special sort of entity; where savers’ money was safe and lending was personal and very cautiously considered (“Lloyds branch sale to Co-op collapses”, April 24).
There was a great deal of bitterness when the Conservative government nationalised the bank in the 1980s so that it could sell it to people who had Fred Goodwin-like ideas about expansion that quickly eroded the bank’s capital resources.
Now the TSB name is to be attached to a middle-sized retail bank that will be served by Lloyds TSB staff, who may include a small number of TSB survivors and some long-term Lloyds employees who remember the days when local bank managers acted as much more than sales supervisors (some readers will remember Furniss in the “Dear Bill” letters in Private Eye).
This business could be established with a unique selling point of community sensitivity by having regional boards that could represent to the main board the business experience, expectations and hopes of the communities they serve.
The recent speech by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and some of the sensible comments that Vince Cable manages to slide past his coalition minders, have indicated awareness of the need for enhanced regional and sectoral awareness by the banking business.
There will necessarily be a deliberate creation of a distinctive company culture in the new bank. That identity can be expressed in the form of a new, positive approach to lending that could also attract the deposits of communities whose opinion of the existing banking brands is extremely low.
It is even probable that the employees themselves will recognise their self-interest in being “different”.
David E. Bland, London E1, UK
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