Piggy bank next to calculator and red increase arrow


Welcome to the August 2023 edition of My Accord magazine. Hear from Ged and get the latest headline news.

down arrow
Ged Nichols
Accord's General Secretary Ged Nichols

Welcome from Ged

Welcome to the latest edition of our online magazine for members. 

This edition kicks off the vibrant democracy that is at the heart of Accord and makes the union tick.

Workplace reps in Lloyds Banking Group are to be elected in September. Our rep structure allows us to be connected, accessible and accountable to members everywhere.

The processes will then be put in place for the election of the President and Principal Executive Council members whose term of office will run from the end of the biennial delegate conference in April 2024 in Glasgow through to our 2026 conference.

The current President, Neil Magill, ends his term of office in April and, under Accord’s Rules, can’t stand again for this position. So, we’ll have a new President for the new term. Whoever it is will have a class act to follow but there’s plenty for Neil to do before he leaves office so we’ll say more about him later.

The biennial delegate conference next April is the key event in the union’s calendar. It provides an opportunity for members, through their elected delegates, to review the union’s performance in the preceding two years and set our objectives for the next two. It’s the pinnacle of our democratic accountability and we hope you’ll take a keen interest whether you’re able to attend or not.

These internalities keep our union open, democratic and vibrant. How we do our business is important but let’s turn to what we need to do. Of course, the key challenge is to support members through the ongoing squeeze in living standards due to continuing high inflation and the impact of higher interest rates on mortgages and rents.

The Bank of England has increased interest rates to a 15 year high in an attempt to tackle inflation. This will have a positive influence on the performance of UK banks with significant ‘unearned’ increases in profits.

There’s a long gap between the salary increases that took place in LBG and TSB in April 2023 and the next review in April 2024. The final parts of the 2023 pay agreement between Accord & Unite and Lloyds Banking Group were implemented in July; the consolidation of the Flex Allowance for all staff and part of the GPS opportunity for staff in grades D and above into base pay as well as the increases in the pay ranges from 1 July.

We’ve published our pay claim in LBG and asked TSB for early talks too.

It’s not going to be easy and employers will undoubtedly be under political pressure to exercise pay restraint so as not to undermine the Bank of England’s policy. But wages didn’t create inflation and it’s not right that ordinary workers should have their living standards squeezed as a consequence.

So, we have a lot to do as the autumn approaches but you can play a huge part by encouraging any of your colleagues who aren’t currently members of Accord or Unite to join us.

There’s lots of important things for us to do as the world of work continues to change and we’ll be better placed to meet those challenges if we have the voices of more members with us.

So, thanks for being a member of Accord but please think about what else you can do to help strengthen your union.

Enjoy the magazine and what’s left of the summer …

Very best wishes


Campaigning for a fair deal on pay 

The 2023 pay settlements negotiated by Accord in both Lloyds Banking Group and TSB in 2023 were strongly supported by members and the cost-of-living payments really appreciated by those who received them.

We were pleased to work with Lloyds Banking Group to deliver the changes to pay ranges and zones in July 2023. These changes accommodate the consolidation of Flex allowances and part of the Group Performance Share (bonus) opportunity (for grades D, E, F & G) into base pay with effect from 1 July 2023 and generally provide ‘headroom’ for pay awards in 2024.

But it’s a long way to go until the next pay review in April 2024. On 26 July, LBG published what it described as a ‘robust’ financial performance for the first half of the year which lifted pre-tax profits to just below the £4bn that analysts had forecast. Shareholder dividends were increased by 15% as a result.

The Group Chief Executive said: “We know that rising interest rates, cost of living pressures and an uncertain economic outlook are proving challenging for many people and businesses.”

Recognising this reality for many members, we’ve put forward a pay claim calling for: 

  1. An interim ‘across the board’ pay award to be effective from October 2023
  2. The budget for the April 2024 Pay Review to be higher than the RPI figure for October 2023
  3. Pay awards in April 2024 to be distributed as a fixed percentage and not differentiated by grade or position in pay ranges
  4. All pay ranges to be increased by the agreed pay budget % with effect from April 2024

On 27 July, TSB’s Chief Executive Robin Bulloch announced what he described as a “strong” set of results for the bank in the first half of 2023. The statutory profit of £147.9m was more than 40% higher than the comparable period in 2022.

Whilst welcoming the progress that the bank continues to make, Accord’s Ged Nichols drew attention to the fact that the cost-of-living crisis hasn’t only affected customers but staff too. He said:

We’re looking forward to celebrating TSB’s first 10 years but we can’t ignore the backcloth of continuing high inflation and interest rate increases on members’ living standards. 

We’re therefore asking TSB to enter into joint talks on reward through 2023 & 2024 as soon as possible.

Of course, in both banks the claims deal with the broad pay claims. But within each organisation, there a range of other factors that members want to be addressed too. Some of these, such as reviewing the roles, responsibilities and rewards for branch staff have been outstanding for too long.

We want to thank all members who have given us feedback on their issues and concerns. We’ll do our very best in the coming talks and no decisions will be made on pay by the union without consulting members first.

Any further input can be sent to [email protected]

Flexibility Works and the future

LBG’s decision to bring thousands of colleagues back into offices for a minimum of two days per week, or 40% or more of their working time, and to remove legacy compressed working arrangements from most staff must be one of the most disruptive actions taken by LBG in its short history.

We’ve been working with thousands of members to help them navigate through the key steps involved in transitioning to the new ways of working. And we’re reaching the point when more formal challenges may be necessary to protect those colleagues who can’t change or choose not to for valid and reasonable reasons.

You can read about the discussions we’ve been involved in and our latest advice about how to handle 121 discussions and beyond here.

The negative impact this whole episode has had on colleague morale and trust in the business is palpable. This is, in part, down to LBG’s failure to convince staff why it sees the need for these changes and what difference it will make. Corporate speak like, ‘growing our business to achieve our purpose and helping Britain prosper’ just isn’t enough.

After the initial announcements in April that led colleagues to flood the Interchange with negative comments, LBG has put a lot more effort into trying to get their reasons for change across. And for some, it worked. Take-up of the new Flexibility Works options is gradually increasing but, at a time when the UK Government is making flexible working more accessible** and other employers are improving their flexible working options, it really is difficult to view LBG’s 9-5, 5 days per week way of working as anything other than retrograde.

It's not our job to defend or explain LBG’s reasons but we do understand the real challenges facing the banks and their need to compete in a rapidly changing world.

It’s not easy to reconcile published expert opinion that time is running out for traditional banks like LBG when it announces £1.2 bn after tax profits at the half year. But it would also be foolhardy to ignore the fact that BigTech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon dwarf the largest global banks with their market value and spending power, and they have the financial services sector firmly in their sights.

Meanwhile, smaller FinTech companies have rapid and low-cost access to newer cloud-based technologies and are developing innovative, best-in-class solutions that address several of the pain points that are costly for traditional banks like LBG to deal with and create friction in the customer’s digital experience. And of course, they don’t have the huge overhead costs of premises, people and legacy systems.

Whilst we might not like being told that established banks that don’t respond to this new competition face a perilous future – we can’t ignore it. Our members’ livelihoods are at stake. It’s our job to do our very best to support you through change programmes, like this one, to keep you in secure jobs, to advise you of your rights and represent you internally and externally if necessary. That’s one thing that won’t ever change.

** We followed the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 as it’s passed through the various stages and are pleased that it has now been granted Royal Assent. The Act introduces some changes to the current regime for making a flexible working request which will come into force on a day to be appointed, most likely in 2024.

More info


My Accord
is the magazine for Accord members. If you have a story, question, letter or anything you think would interest readers, please get in touch: [email protected]

General Secretary:
Ged Nichols  |  [email protected]  |  07973 642 592

Magazine editor:
Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin  |  [email protected]

Accord HQ:
[email protected]  |  0118 9341 808  |  Freepost ACCORD UNION