Lloyds TSB pilots seven day opening

18 August 2003
Lloyds TSB has announced that it intends to pilot Sunday opening at the Queen Street branch in Cardiff Merry Hill near Dudley in the West Midlands and Meadowhall in Sheffield.

The pilot project, due to start in October, aims to assess customer demand for seven day opening. If it proves a success it could pave the way for Sunday opening across the country.

A spokeswoman for Lloyds TSB said, "We are a customer-service organisation and we always have to explore new ways to please our customers.

"It is very much a case of exploring whether there is a demand, will people use the branch, and how it will impact on staff."

The move has been welcomed by customers, but has met with opposition from traditionalists and unions, who warned that Sunday opening would make spending weekends together harder for families.
Union leaders also fear that staff may be put under pressure to work extra hours.

A spokeswoman for banking union Unifi, Judy James, said, "We are fundamentally opposed to it. Our main worry is how voluntary it will be. We are worried that staff may be coerced or pressurised to work on a Sunday."

Halifax currently has around 400 branches open to the public on Sundays, but not all offer full banking services.

HBOS has also announced it is planning to open more Bank of Scotland branches to the public on Sundays.

Several of the other big banks have a small number of branches open to customers on a Sunday. Barclays has no branches open on Sunday and has no plans to do so.

The Lloyds TSB trial will offer full banking services to customers and the chosen branches and will open for about four hours.

The decision to pilot weekend opening hours follows a boom in Sunday shopping.