We have had two startling stories from readers who are customers of Le Crédit Lyonnais LCL bank, which we wanted to publish. The first letter is from a reader using the Pézenas branch (pictured), and the other is a customer of the Lamalou-Les-Bains branch.
Both customers want to remain anonymous, because for now they are still customers of the bank.
If you are a customer of this bank, specifically the Pézenas branch, we would urge you to check out your on-line status, as what you are about to read is very shocking. Sadly, as you’ll see from the second story, not everyone is able to check their on-line status, but that’s a different subject…
I opened a bank account with the LCL bank in Pezenas a few years ago, I have found real problems with them in the past few months.
I use the online banking service mostly for checking my balance. Earlier this year I logged on and saw that my account details were not the only ones on my online bank balance page. I also had account details of someone else. I was able to see their balance, details of transactions and payments and even some of their banking documents. I assumed they could also see mine.
This was obviously a major security problem, I went to the bank straight away and spoke to the girl at the desk, she looked into it and said there had been a ‘manipulation’ and assured me the problem was resolved.
But it wasn’t. I checked again and the details still appeared. I contacted my personal counsellor at the bank, there was no response. I contacted bank security. Nothing happened.
I then sought advice from Languedoc Living and wrote to the bank using registered post. Nothing happened. I went back to the bank and this time spoke to a man at the desk. I explained the situation. He suggested a large part of the problem was due to me being critical ‘like the English are’. I told him bluntly that my ethnicity had nothing to do with this serious security problem.
The problem took weeks to resolve – when it should have taken moments.
I had another task at the bank, I had to close a joint account – it was a little complicated – I needed advice from the bank on how best to move money around. People at the bank gave me conflicting information so I made an appointment with the manager to get definitive information. I was told it would be very difficult to get an appointment with my counsellor, Linda Chaabi, I found this annoying as I often saw her smoking a cigarette right outside the bank door – she had time for that.
The bank manager, Luc Giroussens, gave me the information I needed and we made a second appointment to close the account. At the second appointment he gave me yet more information that conflicted with what he had said previously. I pointed this out to him he then said ‘it was my problem he didn’t care one way or the other’. I said to him that I thought his attitude was not appropriate as he was providing the service and I was the customer.
Luc Giroussens’ attitude is disgusting and unprofessional, and that has clearly manifested itself in the manner with which some of his staff treat their customers.
This story came from a couple, who we will call B and R. Their father lives locally, and we will call him F.
B & R are English, currently residing in the UK. They were working temporarily in a vineyard in France last summer. They plan to live and work in France within a year. B’s father (F) has an account with LCL, and B & R thought it was a good idea to open an account in the same branch. They all went to the bank to arrange an interview.
At the interview B & R + F explained everything about their plans, current French employment and residency, the fact that they are married, and about their French and British income. They told the bank that they need a joint account, bank cards and internet facilities.
‘No problem’ said the bank. B & R were given branch and account codes, one card plus another free card were ordered, and all three of them were promised of incentive gifts.
Afterwards, there was no sign of the card release even though the cards had arrived in the branch.
After several request for the card release (especially as B & R needed them for their return trip) there were lots of promises but no action.
Days, weeks and months passed with lots of visits to the bank, but despite promises, no cards or internet code numbers arrived. Nor were the incentive gifts given.
B & R received a statement. All the money in the account was shown, but still no sight of the cards or codes, even though there were charges on the statement for two cards.
After several more phone calls and visits, despite the initial reassurances of ‘no problems’ it transpired that the Montpellier office have to clear the card delivery (because B & R currently reside in the UK officially).
Several more attempts produced the same – nothing. They were promised multiple times that the the bank would call back – nothing.
Subsequently, the branch was also advised by F that B & R would have a large amount of euros to use locally next year to buy a business, and that F would have a similar large amount, but this still failed to evoke any reaction.
B & R + F are currently still waiting over four months later.
[LCL have taken their money, and given them no method to use it. Can we call that theft do you think? Ed.]