Lloyds bank customer claims he was offered £50 to silence him after staff member called him 'a gay fairy'
Paul Whitbread, 37, says he was offered £50 even before the bank carried out an investigation, following a complaint he made where he says a female member of staff hurled the insult and then refused to serve him last month.
Lloyds said they took the complaint ‘extremely seriously’ and have undertaken a full investigation into the allegations made by the self-confessed “camp” gay airport worker.
Whitbread, from Romford, Essex, said: “I felt insulted that I was offered hush money without an investigation.
“Do they think that a few notes will make someone feel better? I couldn’t believe it, I found the whole complaints procedure shocking.”
Whitbread visited the Romford branch of Lloyds at 4.45pm on September 10 to deposit £150 into his mum’s account.
He said he spotted that the Immediate Deposit Machines were out of order so headed to the counter.
A female staff member told him he was unable to do so as company policy states that third parties aren’t allowed to make deposits and the two began to quarrel.
He claims he was made to wait for ten minutes by the out-of-order machines and was eventually served by another employee who allowed him to make the deposit.
Paul said: “She said I had to use the tellers and when I said they weren’t working that I would have to wait.
“Every other staff member could see the tellers didn’t work, so she must have known as well.
“I think she deliberately made me wait by tellers knowing they didn’t work.”
“At this point I waited for about 10 minutes, and then she called me from across the bank and told me I’d ‘better get my ass over there’.
“I couldn’t believe her tone, so I sarcastically told her that even if it was closing up soon I would just sit on the floor and wait for the teller to work.
“That’s my fault – I’ve got Irish blood in me so I’ve got a bit of banter. Then out of nowhere she called me a gay fairy.”
Paul called customer services after leaving the branch but says he was left feeling shocked and embarrassed in his car.
Paul said: “I was embarrassed, and I felt a little belittled as I was put in the corner to wait by a teller that didn’t work.
“I was a bit shaken but there’s nothing you can about it, other than trying to change the way people treat other people.”
After making the initial complaint, he says he then received a call three days later from the customer relations team originally offering him £30 before upping it to £50.
Paul, who now lives with his mum in Romford, said: “What shocked me the most and what hurt the most is that when I’d spoken to customer services on the phone, I didn’t get any apology.
“When she said she’d offer me the ‘benefit of the doubt’ and give me £30 I couldn’t believe it.
“They probably thought the £30 would shut down the case, it was insulting.
“I’d rather they send her on a training course so she can learn how to behave, than sending me the money.
“Then she said that with the information she had £50 would be more appropriate, just like that. I hit the roof.
“I asked her whether she should have done an investigation before speaking to me instead she offered compensation without having spoken to anyone in the branch.”
Paul, who has been banking with Lloyds since he was a teenager, said: “A lot of the staff at Lloyds are very good and I wouldn’t want to tarnish their reputations.
“But I was taken back, and it caught me off guard that someone would be homophobic at a national bank in this day and age.
A Lloyds spokesman said: “We have taken Mr Whitbread’s claims extremely seriously and have undertaken a full investigation into the allegations that have been made.
“While we recognise some of the service we provided Mr Whitbread did not meet the high standards we aim for when he visited our branch, we have not been able to find evidence to support all aspects of his complaint.”
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