A BANK manager who was accused of being rude and threatening towards customers as she struggled to meet targets has been awarded £7,500 for wrongful dismissal.

Lynne Adams, a former senior personal banking manager with the TSB, struggled to cope after bosses scrapped Payment Protection Insurance sales – a product she excelled at selling.

She was considered a high performer at the bank and its predecessor Lloyds Banking Group, but that changed when PPI was discarded and sales related bonuses were removed.

Ms Adams, of Edinburgh, was also accused of failing to complete loan applications correctly so loans were granted to people who would not have passed affordability tests otherwise.

She was dismissed by the TSB in February last year.

The former manager took her case to an employment tribunal where she attempted to sue for unfair dismissal. This was rejected by Employment Judge Susan Walker but her claim for wrongful dismissal was upheld as the bank failed to allow her a notice period.

In a written judgment on the case, Judge Walker said the decision to dismiss Ms Adams – who had 12 years' service with the bank – was "harsh" but not unfair.

She added: "Despite my finding in relation to unfair dismissal, I do not consider that the claimant's conduct was gross misconduct.

"The claimant was therefore entitled to notice both at common law and under TSB's own disciplinary policy."

The tribunal heard that the bank awarded bonuses for performance based on points for selling different products.

PPI sales attracted a high number of sales points and Ms Adams "was very successful at selling these products".

The judgment stated: "When the TSB split from the Lloyds Banking Group, there was a deliberate change of focus from selling products to customer service.

"A number of products were discontinued, including protection plans for loans and credit cards."

After this point, Ms Adams struggled to reach her target and became anxious and stressed.

A number of issues also arose, including claims she was being "overly direct" with customers and had failed to complete paperwork correctly.

She received further training but went off sick with stress for 10 weeks in July 2014.

When she returned, further complaints were made against her – including that she had threatened to "swipe" a customer's overdraft and had misrepresented customers' income to the bank's personal lending department.

Judge Walker said that while the TSB had reason to believe her mistakes were intentional, she did not believe that they were deliberate.

The judge said: "I accept that the claimant found the change in culture difficult and the impact on her was particularly acute. She had been a very high performer under the previous hard sell regime and had been valued and rewarded for her efforts both financially and with recognition and praise.

"She now found herself in a different regime where many of the products she had sold successfully had been removed and where she was no longer performing well.

"I have no doubt that she found this difficult and stressful, both in terms of job satisfaction and in being concerned as to how she could maintain her current salary."

She added: "However, I accept that the respondent had a genuine desire to change the culture and it was not unreasonable for an organisation that was striving to create a different culture and to be seen as focused on customer service to take a firm line with those who could no and who it believed would not work within that culture."

The TSB declined to comment.