Five questions answered on the re-emergence of TSB after 18 years

Lloyds TSB re-brand 600 stores.

The name TSB will once again feature on the UK’s high streets after Lloyds TSB re-brand 600 of its stores across the country with the name. We answer five questions on TSB’s comeback.

Why has Lloyd TSB branded 600 of its branches TSB?

The bank, which is 39 per cent owned by the taxpayer, is branding the branches TSB – which used to be on the high street 18 years ago – in preparation to sell of the new bank next year as part of a process ordered by the European Commission to provide greater competition.

It was also a condition of the government’s bail out of the bank. 

How will this affect customers of Lloyds TSB?

For the five million people who will have their accounts transferred to the new bank the only change they will experience is a change in name.

Bank account numbers and sort codes will remain the same and no one’s card will stop working because of the switch, the bank has reassured.

Instead customers will receive a new card with the new name in due course.

Until the sell-off will TSB be run as a separate bank or part of Lloyds?

The bank will be run as a separate entity until its shares are sold off next year.

The creation of a separate bank comes after a deal with the Co-operative Group to buy the branches fell through due to concerns about the financial stability of the Group.

What have the experts said?

Many experts have raised doubts over whether selling off TSB as a separate bank will make much difference to competition.

Shore Capital's banking analyst Gary Greenwood told the BBC: "TSB will be painted as a new challenger brand on the high street but I doubt that its pricing is going to be very differentiated to competitors.

"Current accounts tend to be very sticky and customers only tend to move if they have a really, really bad experience."

When was TSB originally set up and what happened to it?

TSB was set up 200 years ago as the Trustee Savings Bank and 18 years ago it was merged with Lloyds.

Lloyds TSB. Photograph: Getty Images

Heidi Vella is a features writer for Nridigital.com

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The economics of outrage: Why you haven't seen the end of Katie Hopkins

Her distasteful tweet may have cost her a job at LBC, but this isn't the last we've seen of Britain's biggest troll. 

Another atrocity, other surge of grief and fear, and there like clockwork was the UK’s biggest troll. Hours after the explosion at the Manchester Arena that killed 22 mostly young and female concert goers, Katie Hopkins weighed in with a very on-brand tweet calling for a “final solution” to the complex issue of terrorism.

She quickly deleted it, replacing the offending phrase with the words “true solution”, but did not tone down the essentially fascist message. Few thought it had been an innocent mistake on the part of someone unaware of the historical connotations of those two words.  And no matter how many urged their fellow web users not to give Hopkins the attention she craved, it still sparked angry tweets, condemnatory news articles and even reports to the police.

Hopkins has lost her presenting job at LBC radio, but she is yet to lose her column at Mail Online, and it’s quite likely she won’t.

Mail Online and its print counterpart The Daily Mail have regularly shown they are prepared to go down the deliberately divisive path Hopkins was signposting. But even if the site's managing editor Martin Clarke was secretly a liberal sandal-wearer, there are also very good economic reasons for Mail Online to stick with her. The extreme and outrageous is great at gaining attention, and attention is what makes money for Mail Online.

It is ironic that Hopkins’s career was initially helped by TV’s attempts to provide balance. Producers could rely on her to provide a counterweight to even the most committed and rational bleeding-heart liberal.

As Patrick Smith, a former media specialist who is currently a senior reporter at BuzzFeed News points out: “It’s very difficult for producers who are legally bound to be balanced, they will sometimes literally have lawyers in the room.”

“That in a way is why some people who are skirting very close or beyond the bounds of taste and decency get on air.”

But while TV may have made Hopkins, it is online where her extreme views perform best.  As digital publishers have learned, the best way to get the shares, clicks and page views that make them money is to provoke an emotional response. And there are few things as good at provoking an emotional response as extreme and outrageous political views.

And in many ways it doesn’t matter whether that response is negative or positive. Those who complain about what Hopkins says are also the ones who draw attention to it – many will read what she writes in order to know exactly why they should hate her.

Of course using outrageous views as a sales tactic is not confined to the web – The Daily Mail prints columns by Sarah Vine for a reason - but the risks of pushing the boundaries of taste and decency are greater in a linear, analogue world. Cancelling a newspaper subscription or changing radio station is a simpler and often longer-lasting act than pledging to never click on a tempting link on Twitter or Facebook. LBC may have had far more to lose from sticking with Hopkins than Mail Online does, and much less to gain. Someone prepared to say what Hopkins says will not be out of work for long. 

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