Lloyds threat to free online banking

Lloyds Bank is playing down suggestions that it may be introducing a premium charge for its Internet banking service, when it rolls out the scheme in earnest next month.

The bank, which launched a pilot Internet banking service in May (MW March 26), has invited a second wave of customers to join the pilot scheme ahead of the service being formally unveiled in November.

But Lloyds Bank Internet customers have been warned that, although they will not be charged to use Lloyds On-line for the first 12 months after launch. The bank “may, however, charge a small monthly fee for this service thereafter”.

A spokesman for the bank insists that the phrasing of the registration document should not be taken as a positive indication that the bank is considering introducing a premium charge for banking online.

“We regularly review our charging structures,” says the spokesman.

“We will be launching Lloyds On-line as a free service, but we cannot predict the future. At the moment there are no plans to start charging but, as for all services, this will be reviewed. There’s no leaning either way.”

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