Almost a third of workers at Lloyds Bank are struggling financially, according to a confidential union survey seen by The Guardian.
The survey quizzed several thousands of members of the Unite union across the bank, including branch staff and call centre workers. Twenty-two per cent said they were often short of money before payday, while 3.6% said they faced serious difficulties, and 3.8% said they relied on overdrafts or loans.
The majority of those polled worked for Lloyds in Scotland, the north west or the West Midlands, and almost half earned £25,000 full-time equivalent or less.
Two-thirds of staff also mentioned they were facing symptoms of stress, such as anxiety attacks, tiredness, headaches and sleeplessness, the survey found.
Last month, staff approved a new pay deal that would raise the minimum salary to £18,200 from April. However, the annual bonus pay-out is likely to fall for the first time in four years – in January staff received a memo warning them that the bonus pool would likely be smaller after a hit to the bank’s profits thanks to a surge in PPI claims.
Lloyds chief executive António Horta-Osório is one of the 20 highest-paid CEOs in FTSE 100 companies – in 2018 he earned £6.3m, 359 times that of employees on the bank’s minimum salary of £17,510.
The bank is now consulting with shareholders on cutting Horta-Osório’s pension so it can raise retirement benefits for other staff.
A Lloyds spokesperson told The Guardian: “The welfare of our colleagues is of utmost importance to the group, and demonstrated by the further measures it has introduced recently such as on mental health support and also doubling paid maternity leave.
“The group has also taken steps to offer fair and competitive pay for colleagues across the organisation, for example by having salary increases for colleagues that are both higher than that received by executive directors and also higher than inflation. The group is also one of the first large UK employers to adopt a minimum wage of £10 per hour.”