Lloyds Banking Group, has been fined 2.8 million pounds (4.6 million U.S. dollars) for serious failings in controls over sales incentive schemes, said the British watchdog Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Wednesday.
The FCA described the fine as the largest one ever imposed for bank retail conduct failings by the Financial Conduct Authority or its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority.
The failings of the incentive schemes affected two units of the Lloyds Banking Group, the Bank of Scotland and Halifax, now is part of Lloyds, which have been fined a record of 28,038,844 pounds (about 46 million US dollars).
"The incentive schemes led to a serious risk that sales staff were put under pressure to hit targets to get a bonus or avoid being demoted, rather than focus on what consumers may need or want, the FCA said in a statement.
The FCA found that both firms had higher risk features in their advisers' financial incentive schemes which were not properly controlled.
"This created a significant risk that advisers would maintain or increase their salaries, and earn bonuses, by selling products to customers that they did not need or want," the statement said.
Tracey McDermott, the FCA's director of enforcement and financial crime, said: "Customers have a right to expect better from our leading financial institutions and we expect firms to put customers first, but firms will never be able to do this if they incentives their staff to do the opposite."