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Lloyds suspends sale of packaged accounts

Magnified twenty pound noteLloyds bank has announced it is suspending the sale of packaged current accounts which can cost up to £300 a year.

The move coincides with a crackdown by watchdog the Financial Services Authority (FSA) into how these accounts – which offer the likes of travel and breakdown insurance in return for a monthly fee – are marketed.

The FSA last week announced that banks would be forced to send packaged current account customers annual statements to confirm they are still eligible for any insurance cover.

However, Lloyds said the temporary ban on sales – which comes into effect at the start of 2013 – was not due to concerns over mis-selling, and was not related to the FSA's recent action.

Instead, the suspension of in-branch and phone sales is being imposed to give Lloyds a chance to update sales processes and bring them in line with those at its Halifax subsidiary.

Checks imposed

The FSA had already told banks that they had to check that customers would be eligible for insurance when the accounts were opened.

This is designed to avoid situations where, for example, older customers sign up for accounts which offer travel insurance that they are too old to claim on.

But in the eligibility statements, which will start to go out from next March, account holders will be warned when they are approaching any age limits.

This will give them the chance to seek alternative cover and, if necessary, cancel their packaged account.


Consumer complaints body the Financial Ombudsman Service said that most of the complaints it receives about packaged accounts concern the linked insurance policies after claims are turned down.

Lloyds did not say when it expected to start selling its packaged accounts again.

However, the deals will remain available through the bank's website.

Two long-standing criticisms of packaged accounts are that customers fail to make full use of the perks they are given, and that the same levels of insurance cover, for example, can be bought separately at lower cost.

Do your sums

If you are considering signing up for a pay-monthly account, or if you already have one, look at the extras you receive and work out if they are worth the cost.

If the only perk of use to you is travel insurance, for example, the chances are you would be able to find a standalone policy for much less than the sum – typically between £10 and £15 a month – you are being charged for your current account.

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Chris Torney

Chris Torney

Chris is the former personal finance editor at the Daily Express. He's been a journalist for more than 10 years and contributes to a wide range of finance and business titles.Read more from Chris

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