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regrettably that's probably what the Management at Lloyds are aiming for

I have no doubt it is. Lloyds were pressured by the EU into reducing their UK market share to foster competition. The obvious consequence of that was the TSB demerger but IF was also gradually closed to new business (current accounts and mortgages in 2009, savings later). The products are kept deliberately uncompetitive in terms of interest rates etc. and IF have gone as far as highlighting this competitiveness to customers and suggesting that other providers may better suit their needs, e.g. http://www.if.com/myifdotcom/marchmailing.aspx

The obvious conclusion is that management want the IF brand to whither and die.
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