Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


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Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


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  1. #1
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    Default Bank reclaiming bonus

    I left lloyds in June 2017,
    I was made aware that I may not receive my bonus and expected not to.

    I however did get paid my bonus for 2016 which I worked in full, worked my notice period in 2017 and thankfully left the bank.
    No one mentioned about this being paid back.

    Over 2 months after I left I then started receiving letters explaining I now had to pay back my bonus and that lloyds had paid it in error.

    Am I legally bound to pay it back seeing as they have paid it in error.
    As it's taken them 2 months to let me know I have now spent the money and am therefore not able to pay it back.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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    Default Re: Lloyds Bank reclaiming past annual bonus

    there are several reason as to why you dont have to pay it back

    An ET made a decision about this some years ago and it was quoted at a triunal I attended.

    Wish I had written the refeernce down!


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    Default Lloyds bank reclaiming bonus

    Hi I was hoping to get some advice.

    I thankfully left lloyds bank in the summer 2017 (working in the operations side, definitely no big banker bonuses there) and was paid my bonus for 2016.

    When I handed in my notice I was told there may be a chance I don't receive my bonus which I was fine with

    however I went on to receive it whilst I was still working for the bank.

    No one from HR contacted me to as for it back.

    It has now been nearly 5 months since I left and Lloyds have written to me now saying that they made the payment in error and want the money back

    Are they allowed to do this seeing as they made the payment in error and had plenty of time whilst I was still working there to sort it out?

    I don't have the money anymore to pay back the bonus as it's been so long and i didn't expect it to be reclaimed

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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    Default Re: Lloyds bank reclaiming bonus

    Please start reading up about estoppelicon. Then come back here and tell us if you think that this helps you.



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    Default Re: Bank reclaiming bonus

    Threads merged.

    Andy

    We could do with some help from you

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    Default Re: Bank reclaiming bonus

    You should also think about asking Lloyds to confirm the basis on which they say they are entitled to get the bonus back. Ask them to clarify the legal basis on which they think they are entitled to be repaid for the bonus and for a copy of any documents they are relying on.

    If they don't have any proper documents, they will struggle to get it back.

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    Default Re: Bank reclaiming bonus

    To me, bonuses are for work done, paid in arrears so I you get a bonus its for what you have done and therefore owed.
    If you've done the work your owed and it cant be reclaimed.
    Maybe banks work differently and that's why they brought the country to its knees.


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    Default Re: Bank reclaiming bonus

    Quote Originally Posted by sgtbush View Post
    To me, bonuses are for work done, paid in arrears so I you get a bonus its for what you have done and therefore owed.
    If you've done the work your owed and it cant be reclaimed.
    Maybe banks work differently and that's why they brought the country to its knees.
    sorry but this is completely wrong and tends to be rather off topic.

    The answer lies particularly in the doctrine of estoppelicon but it will also be worth reading the tribunal decision which has been referred to above – although it won't set a precedent. I've not heard of it before. Maybe somebody could post a link.

    In any event, if there is a tribunal decision or if you run an estoppelicon, I can imagine that the bank will let it go stop

    Although it's unlikely, Lloyds bank have got a reputation for acting dishonestly and unfairly and you want to make sure that they don't try to chalk it up as a debt and to mark your credit file.



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    Default Re: Bank reclaiming bonus

    Its not off topic.
    Are you saying bank bonuses are paid in advance?
    I get bonuses in work, I have to do the work first to qualify.
    That's why I said maybe banks act differently and if they do, maybe if they worked ethically and morally then the country wouldn't of been brought to its knees by them


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    Default Re: Bank reclaiming bonus

    Some companies have strange rules about bonus payments - whilst it may be that you 'earned' the bonus for working during the period that the bonus accrued, they may have a clause which stipulates that it will only be paid if you are still working for the bank on a specific date after then

    As above, case law emerges from time to time which might strengthen the employee position, but for now, for so long as the employer is not proven to be guilty of exercising 'discretion' unlawfully, a relevant contractual clause might be sufficient

    However

    The above would normally be a factor where a bonus has not yet been paid but where you have disqualified your self, for example, by handing in notice before the bonus is paid. In this case the bank has shot themselves in the foot by paying the bonus and then asking for it back. As suggested by Bankfodder you could potentially have a very good case from what you have said to estop any potential recovery action such as a Court claim

    For estoppelicon to be successful you would need to demonstrate that you had a genuine belief that the money was legitimately yours, and that you have 'changed your position' - ie spent it in good faith. Your OP suggests that you were told that you 'might' not receive the bonus? I don't suppose this was advised in writing? Alternatively do you have a company handbook or written details of the bonus scheme stating that payment in the event of leaving Lloyds was in any way 'discretionary'? If you do have either, then you could argue all day long, even before a Court, that you genuinely believed that Lloyds had exercised that discretion, changing the 'might not pay' into 'we decided to pay'

    I would write back to them stating that you genuinely believed that the bank had decided to pay the bonus and (as above) asking for a copy of the T&Cs in your contract relating to bonus payments. You might also add that you consider their approach to this to be very poor form and that you will strenuously resist any further attempts to recover the payment. Let them know at an early stage that they will have a fight on their hands

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    Default Re: Bank reclaiming bonus

    the decision was that a bonus earned in a particular year may be held back and only paid if the person is still employed at some poit in the future was unfair because the qualifying period for accruing the bonus had passed.

    It hinged on a company having a bonus scheme and then booting out a number of staff before the qualifying date for the bonus and then saying
    "tough, you werent employed on the date".

    The tribunal decided that is a bonus was earned in say 2016 then that is ring fenced and paid to staff who leave in 2017 on the normal payment date.
    they get nothing for any bonuses accrued in the 2017 year though and that is fair as the terms are "live".

    The wording of the employment contract are then immaterial as they are an unfair contractual term and the bonus not discretionary.
    Also agree with ther estoppelicon. It looks like their was a genuine expectation


  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Some companies have strange rules about bonus payments - whilst it may be that you 'earned' the bonus for working during the period that the bonus accrued, they may have a clause which stipulates that it will only be paid if you are still working for the bank on a specific date after then

    As above, case law emerges from time to time which might strengthen the employee position, but for now, for so long as the employer is not proven to be guilty of exercising 'discretion' unlawfully, a relevant contractual clause might be sufficient

    However

    The above would normally be a factor where a bonus has not yet been paid but where you have disqualified your self, for example, by handing in notice before the bonus is paid. In this case the bank has shot themselves in the foot by paying the bonus and then asking for it back. As suggested by Bankfodder you could potentially have a very good case from what you have said to estop any potential recovery action such as a Court claim

    For estoppelicon to be successful you would need to demonstrate that you had a genuine belief that the money was legitimately yours, and that you have 'changed your position' - ie spent it in good faith. Your OP suggests that you were told that you 'might' not receive the bonus? I don't suppose this was advised in writing? Alternatively do you have a company handbook or written details of the bonus scheme stating that payment in the event of leaving Lloyds was in any way 'discretionary'? If you do have either, then you could argue all day long, even before a Court, that you genuinely believed that Lloyds had exercised that discretion, changing the 'might not pay' into 'we decided to pay'

    I would write back to them stating that you genuinely believed that the bank had decided to pay the bonus and (as above) asking for a copy of the T&Cs in your contract relating to bonus payments. You might also add that you consider their approach to this to be very poor form and that you will strenuously resist any further attempts to recover the payment. Let them know at an early stage that they will have a fight on their hands
    Thank you for the advice, very helpful!

    In the contract I was provided it was stated that if I handed in my notice before a certain date I wouldn't be eligible for my bonus

    however my line manager said that I might receive it or might not as I handed in my notice close to the date.

    I don't have it in writing as it's all in my emails which I cannot access anymore.
    When the bonus was paid I assumed that they had decided to pay it and as nothing was brought up as I worked my notice period assumed that they had given it to me correctly in line with their clauses otherwise they would have just withheld it.

    I therefore went on to spend it
    (I'm self employed and have used it to set up my new business therefore believe it has been spent in good faith).
    Would that be enough for an estoppelicon even without the written proof?

    Thank you so much

    Quote Originally Posted by sgtbush View Post
    To me, bonuses are for work done, paid in arrears so I you get a bonus its for what you have done and therefore owed.
    If you've done the work your owed and it cant be reclaimed.
    Maybe banks work differently and that's why they brought the country to its knees.
    Yes this was one of my thoughts too, my bonus was clearly for 2016 work which I've already done and it just seems so awful that they'd try and take it back even tough I've already done the work! But I guess that's just a corrupt and horrible thing places like Lloyds would do!

    Quote Originally Posted by ericsbrother View Post
    basically the decision was that a bonus earned in a particular year may be held back and only paid if the person is still employed at some poit in the future was unfair because the qualifying period for accruing the bonus had passed. It hinged on a company having a bonus scheme and then booting out a number of staff before the qualifying date for the bonus and then saying "tough, you werent employed on the date". The tribunal decided that is a bonus was earned in say 2016 then that is ring fenced and paid to staff who leave in 2017 on the normal payment date. they gte nothing for any bonuses accrued in the 2017 year though and that is fair as the terms are "live".
    The wording of the employment contract are then immaterial as they are an unfair contractual term and the bonus not discretionary.
    Also agree with ther estoppel. It looks like their was a genuine expectation
    So following the case that went to the tribunal I'd be fair in writing back to them and saying that as my bonus was earned for the year of 2016 it would be unfair for them to try and reclaim it as the period for me qualifying and gaining that bonus had passed therefore it is mine and they can't reclaim it?


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    Default Re: Bank reclaiming bonus

    What was the qualifying period?
    If it was for the calendar year 2016 then any employment term that applied an onerous condition on receiving that bonus would be unfair and already decided upon by a tribunal.

    As this is not the only reason that you are not obliged to repay it
    I would be doing nothing for the moment and reading up on the subject a bit more and find enough examples of similar cases to quote them when you have to.

    At the moment all they have done is sent you a letter so dont do or say anything that may do you harm later.

    In short, keep your mouth closed for the moment and see what they do next.


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    Yes it was for 2016 and I handed in my notice mid June 2017.
    I shall do that and find some more cases to back my point.

    I've had a few letters from them now and I feel it's getting to the point where I have to do something.

    As mentioned above in one of them comments I don't want it to get to them threatening me which is seems like something they would do


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    Default Re: Bank reclaiming bonus

    I don't think there is anything to be gained by quoting lots of cases in letters, which are probably not being sent by legal anyway. Playing letter tennis can be a huge waste of time.

    I would send a short and simple response stating that they bank has not provided any evidence whatsoever to explain why they believe you are legally liable to repay this money, and until such time as they do in the form of a formal letter before actionicon you won't be responding further. Then any further letters go to the waste paper basket unless they are a formal legal letter before actionicon.

    You can't 'stop' it getting to them 'threatening you'. Nor should you be afraid of it. If the bank decides to take legal action you either pay up at that stage, or you go to the judge and he/she decides whether you have to pay or not. It isn't a criminal proceeding or a punishment - nothing to be worried about.

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    Default Re: Bank reclaiming bonus

    threatening you with what? Violence? a plague upon all of your houses?
    You ask for advice but dont seem to want to digest it.

    I reiterate,
    nothing is happening at the moment so doing nothing is what you need to do.

    Use that time to read your employment contract carefully and see what you can find on the matters raised here and then you will be in a better position to respond should they decide to try and recover the money formally.

    then you will be in a better position to respond should they decide to try and recover the money formally.

    Understand though, this is somehting that will not resolve itself instantly.


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    Default Re: Bank reclaiming bonus

    Quote Originally Posted by HP991 View Post
    I don't want it to get to them threatening me which is seems like something they would do
    It is a bank - threatening is what banks do. Unless and until they send something which is headed 'Letter Before Claim' then you can either ignore them, or send a single letter denying any liability to repay the amount and that you will not communicate further until they provide evidence to suggest that such a liability exists, and from what has been provided and said to date, you believe that you were entitled to the money

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