A Sheffield woman who worked for banking giant Lloyds for eight years is accusing the company of bullying – after it threatened her with legal action over a wrongly paid bonus.
Pamela Rontree, aged 58, of Northwood Place, Wadsley Park, left her job as a mortgage consultant in Sheaf Quays in March, and later received a £200 annual bonus in her final wage packet.
But she was shocked to return home from holiday to find a letter from a debt collection company demanding the repayment of the bonus within seven days or she would face possible legal proceedings.
“The letter said Lloyds Banking Group had made a mistake and I was not entitled to the bonus,” she said.
“What shocked me was that they’d straight away referred it to an independent company to treat it as a debt collection issue, when it was the first I’d heard of it.
“When you’ve worked somewhere for eight years you expect to be treated like an adult and with a bit of respect.”
Pamela said she had decided to pay the money back even though she was angry at the bank’s heavy handed approach.
“I called Lloyds and they claimed it was the second time they’d attempted to contact me, but I never received a previous letter,” she said.
“Part of me didn’t want to pay but I was worried that if I didn’t it might affect my credit rating.
“But a lot of people might panic after reading a letter like this, talking about county court proceedings and so on. It could send them over the edge.
“Apparently I wasn’t entitled to the annual bonus as I had resigned,” Pamela added.
A spokesman for Lloyds said the correct company policies had been followed, with an initial letter followed by a letter with stronger wording.
“Mrs Rontree has repaid the money but we are writing to apologise to her that we gave her too short a period of time to respond to our request,” he added.