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Lloyds TSB Banking

As a Big Four high street bank, you won't be surprised to find that Lloyds TSB banking products cover the whole gamut from savings and loans to investment and insurances. Pensions and investments are taken on by Scottish Widows, whilst you'll remember that Cheltenham and Gloucester, another key subsidiary, are mortgage and lending specialists.
Unlike its other competitors on the high street, where there has been a recent trend in simplifying basic bank accounts, Lloyds TSB still offer a bewildering range of current accounts.

If it's interest you want, the Plus account pays up to 3.2%AER; but to achieve this, you need to pay in a fairly hefty £2000 per month- that's an above-average salary. Furthermore, you must use their internet banking service at least six times in three months. Worse still, after your first ten cheques per month, which are free, you'll pay 20p per cheque. How irritating!

The Classic account offers free banking (as well it should!) but a lousy rate of interest. That said, it's a good basic current account with the usual facilities (cashcard/guarantee card, excellent cash machine facilities) and a neat benefit in commission-free travel money.

£5 per month buys you the Lloyds TSB banking premium service, "Select"; with better than average premium benefits, including AA breakdown cover, card theft protection, mobile phone insurance, interest free overdraft facility and home shopping service. Compared to other banks, this is a better offering- and has more options you'd be likely to actually use.

£8 per month buys you "Gold", with increased cover on all the above benefits, and a few extras on top; although it's not quite as satisfying as "Select". There's even an email service for Gold customers, begging the question…. Why? Similarly Platinum increases the benefits again (for £12 per month), so for example the AA cover is comprehensive, and the overdraft facility is dramatically improved.

On top of these are graduate accounts, student accounts, foreign currency accounts and premier banking, which at £15 per month gives you what you really want- a dedicated manager to listen to your needs and make your money work for you.