The Co-op have agreed terms to buy 632 Lloyds TSB and Cheltenham & Gloucester branches. Up to 4.6 million customers will be affected, here’s how to find out if you're one of them and what it means if you are.
UPDATE: The Co-op takeover of Lloyds branches has fallen through, meaning all customers that were scheduled to transfer to The Co-OP will remain with Lloyds until a new buyer can be found. For a full update read our guide: Lloyds TSB's Co-Op Sale Fails.
The Co-op has formally announced that it will be buying 632 Lloyds TSB and Cheltenham & Gloucester branches across the UK.
The £750m takeover, consisting of 468 Lloyds branches and 164 branches of Cheltenham & Gloucester, represents the biggest change to high street banking in recent times.
Estimates suggest that 4.6 million customers will be changing hands, easily eclipsing the RBS/NatWest branch sale to Spanish banking giant Santander.
Here’s how to find out if you're going to be affected and what the takeover will mean for you if you are.
The Co-op bank is going to buy a total of 632 branches from Lloyds TSB and Cheltenham & Gloucester.
The final cost of the takeover will depend on the performance of the new business, but the Co-op will pay £350m upfront with an extra £400m due in the coming years.
However, although details of the sale between Lloyds and the Co-op have now been agreed the deal still needs FSA approval before the transfer can take place.
Simply put, Lloyds TSB are doing this because they have to.
Off-loading hundreds of branches was a condition of the £20 billion EU bailout they received at the height of the financial crisis.
632 UK branches owned by the Lloyds TSB Group will switch hands - and branch customers will be passed over too.
ALL Cheltenham & Gloucester branches
You can check the Lloyds TSB website to find out whether your local branch is one of those changing hands.
If your accounts are registered with one of the branches being sold you will be affected.
This applies whether you are a Lloyds TSB or Cheltenham & Gloucester customer.
However, if your Lloyds TSB branch isn't changing hands then your accounts won't either and you'll remain as a customer of Lloyds TSB ongoing.
As long as the sale gets the go-ahead from the FSA the transfer process will begin in the spring of 2013.
The branches affected will then rebranded as TSB (rather than Lloyds or Cheltenham & Gloucester) in preparation for the handover to the Co-op.
The final sale and handover of the branches is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.
Once the sale has completed branches will eventually be changed to standard Co-op branches, but this is unlikely to happen for several years.
Are any branches closing?
No, none of the branches sold to the Co-op are set to close as a result of the transfer.
However, whether the Co-op will keep them open in the long run remains to be seen.
If you have a current account at any of the 632 branches being sold your account will eventually be transferred to the Co-op, although this is still some way off.
Your account number and sort code will remain the same, so you won't need to change any direct debits or standing orders set up on your accounts.
If your account is changing hands you will receive a letter from Lloyds TSB before the transfer takes place. This will explain what the sale means for your accounts and what to expect during the transfer.
If you have a mortgage or loan with either Lloyds TSB or Cheltenham & Gloucester there's a chance you'll be affected by the buy-out.
This is because the Co-op are taking on some of Lloyds TSB's mortgage and personal loan customers too.
However, they've yet to agree on the number of customers and which customers will be switched.
If you do find that your mortgage or loan is one of those being transfered it's likely you'll remain largely unaffected in the short term.
That said, you should carefully check any letters you receive from the Co-op or Lloyds TSB in case they make any important changes to your rates or terms and conditions.
If your branch is being transferred to the Co-op you will need to keep an eye out for any letters from Lloyds TSB regarding the sale over the coming months.
Once the initial rebrand to TSB starts you should receive a new cheque book, paying-in book and debit card, so make sure you look out for those.
Thankfully as your sort code and account number will stay the same you shouldn’t need to notify any other companies of the impending changes.
It is hoped that the Lloyds TSB branch sale will bring greater competition to high street banking.
After the switch has been completed, the Co-op will hold approximately 7% off the UK current account market, and should be able to compete with the "big four" banks more effectively.
This move also comes after the sale of RBS & NatWest branches to Santander, the Virgin bank purchase of Northern Rock and the launch of the Marks and Spencer’s bank, all aimed at generating more healthy competition within the banking sector.
Friday 20th July 2012 - have today received a communication from TSB stating that from 2nd October 2012 our Gold Account - which has been held for 12 years and gave benefits for free as long as a balance of £2000 was maintained - but paid a minimal interest rate - will now require a monthly payment of £12.95 to retain these benefits. Do we have to accept this change of conditions without closing the account
Our branch is one that is affected. Yet our account manager says it will not affect us as everything will be the same, just the name will change? I do not believe her.
We bank online, we have 2 personal loans and I used my cr and debit cards for my Paypal acount - help.
My account has been transferred from one lloyds branch to another as my branch is changing to the coop. Since this happened yesterday everything has gone wrong, I cant use my debit card, I cant access my account, my statements online have disappeared and Lloyds seem powerless to do anything about it. If this is a sign of the future then I don't give it much hope. I'm told lots of people have had problems with the transfer, but I feel so alone and I have no access to my account, has anyone else had a problem?
We have absolutely NO choice in this, as ALL LLoydsTSB branches on the Isle of Wight are being sold off. I was a customer of Santander's for years, until they suddenly started messing around with my accounts three years ago, and refused to admit it was their fault. I then spent nearly a year trying to get my money from them to transfer to LloydsTSB, the bank that my husband has been using for many years. I've had excellent service from them, and now I can do nothing about this. I'm spitting!
I'm spitting nails too!... The two Lloyds TSB branches where my accounts are held are both included in the sell off. They are nowhere near where I now live (I was advised in the past that this didn't matter- but now it does!!) After the sale my nearest two TSB/Co-Op will be over twenty miles away, and of course, I will not be able to use my regular three Lloyds branches nearby....I cannot run my financial affairs in this new way! I have spoken to two Lloyds TSB branch managers recently about it and they seem to know no more than I do about it- other than the fact that I'm not 'allowed' to transfer my accounts to an an unaffected branch. This is apparently a dictate from 'Europe'...allegedly to promote 'choice' on the high street- what about my choice? as a loyal customer of twenty-five years!! I've been told that no-one in this country can do anything about it. Myself and other's like me are just helpless pawns in this affair! I am justifiably incensed.
In response to 'rhyde'- Don't think you can 'refuse' to have your account transfered? Their line is that you can go on the 'list' of customers at affected branches who don't want to be part of the sell off- You need to discuss it at your branch first, then ring the number given to us in the transfer letters we've received. Beware- they are not very helpful, and irritatingly you have to go through the 'telephone banking' procedure- then you have to give a 'reason' for not wanting to be sold-off.... not sure if it has to be 'good enough' one?! Then more letters will follow, blah, blah.
It feels like we are just being palmed off all the time- and they are just stalling for time, hoping we'll just roll over and give up the fight. I've heard, unofficially, that Lloyds have to pay a penalty for each customer they lose from the affected branches. It's obvious that the new owner (still not definitely the CO-OP) will want to buy a good customer base along with the branches for their money- it's equally clear the we are being used as 'bait' to hook a good sale! Why can't they just offload HBOS again and return to the way they were before the crisis- and leave us good loyal customers alone!...that should satisfy the dictates of Europe just as well, surely?
Can anyone think of another business that treats it's customers like this! It would serve them right if we all abandoned ship and took our custom elsewhere.
Sorry, not much help I know!
The whole thing is a shambles with No offer of choice or advance warning been given to customers. At present i work overseas for 3-4 month periods and depend on a reliable service from my bank. I have been a customer of lloyds for around 50 Years with my first account created when i was in primary school. I receive text balances for my accounts and credit card so rarely check the internet. But due to a planned big spend on credit card coming soon decided to top up my account transferring from a halifax account an arrangement i set up over 20 years ago. The payment was not accepted. Next i checked my lloyds accounts on the internet and found no trace of my old accounts only new accounts with new sort codes set up on 11 th feb. No payees set up. No standing orders or direct Debits and no transactions on accounts. I phoned Lloyds and got passed from person to person all not knowing what had really happened. This phone call was over one hour long from Angola In Africa. They kept telling me to see my local branch my blood pressure was getting higher by th minute. Eventually a guy managed to give me some sort of expanation i accepted to raise a complaint to his superiors who were supposed to phone me back but it never happened. Next morning aound 9.00 AM the direct debits appeared on the new accounts. And later that day i tried moving money using paypal which was still reffering to the old set up. Payment worked one way the other direction is still Processing i,m told. In future i will need to look at alternatives to this arrangement as Lloyds have completely broken my trust.
re above on phoning home i discovered a letter had arrived after 11th feb giving a statement but no explanation why the changed my account numbers. But the guy on helpdesk did say maybe it was because i had offshore accounts with LloydsTsb they changed my accounts. But the end result is the same i,m going to breakup all the accounts being with an unresponsible Management team at LloydsTSB and their other merger / Takeover Partners Hbos. who have failed us many times now as shareholders and customers.