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Depositing a sealed envelope with Lloyds proved rather unsafe

<span>Photograph: Panther Media GmbH/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Panther Media GmbH/Alamy

Nineteen years ago, I deposited a sealed envelope containing all my professional certificates in safe storage at my local branch of Lloyds. I was informed earlier this year that the branch was closing, so I requested the return of the package. After several phone calls, I was informed it had been transferred to another branch and that the staff would locate it. Later, I was told that the matter had been resolved, but the envelope did not materialise. Now, I’ve been verbally informed it has been lost. But, a month on, I have still not received a promised letter detailing what happened, and what will be done about it.
NS, Edgbaston, Birmingham

Safe storage provides peace of mind … at a price. A hefty price. Lloyds charges between £200 to £475 annually for the service. Your envelope probably migrated in 2011 when the bank ceased providing safety deposit boxes in individual branches. All valuables were transferred to a central storage facility to comply with “modern standards in terms of security and record keeping”. Unfortunately, in transferring your documents for this enhanced, modern protection, Lloyds managed to lose them. It admits that, given the millions of items stored over many years, this is not unheard of.

After I weighed in, it promised to reimburse you the cost of replacing your documents (which is a lot less than you’d paid over the years to keep them safe!) and offered £200 in compensation for the poor customer service after the loss was discovered. It says: “We fully appreciate the importance of all items left in our care, and we’re very sorry for the distress and inconvenience this has caused.”

It would certainly be cheaper, and possibly safer, to store your replacement certificates under the mattress.

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