A few hours before the UK government had sold the biggest UK bank’s shares back into the private sector, the Lloyds Banking Group had found itself into yet another immense mis-selling scandal aside from payment protection insurance.
Scottish Widows, a Lloyds investment subsidiary, has about 7,000 accounts with mis-sold structured investment products. The low-risk and simple-to-follow products and services have their own PPI policies, including the Acorn Market Linked Deposit and Protected Capital Solution Funds when it was issued to these 7,000 unsuspecting consumers.
According to the Financial Conduct Authority, the financial product sold “breached fair, clear and not misleading promotions” as bank employees and promoters likely exaggerated the product’s returns. LTU, Lloyds’ trade union, said in its newsletter that it expects the company to pay about £82m for all mis-sold financial products.
Despite its trouble with PPI and structured payments, the bank is officially back into private investor hands. Even if both went through public hands at the same time, the Royal Bank of Scotland is still 73 percent taxpayer-owned. However, the UK government may have sold the shares at below-floor price to ensure the transition of Lloyds.
The sale of Lloyds likely did not return the original cost the government paid during the time of its bailout. However, the UK government claims all the public money used to buy Lloyds shares have been returned evenly.