Lloyds Banking Group has confirmed that it is cutting 9,000 jobs and closing 200 branches. Some 640 jobs IT jobs will go as part of the cost savings.
The job losses are the culmination of a "strategy review" led by CEO António Horta-Osório last year, although the bank claimed that the losses in IT will be mitigated by the creation of 115 new roles.
This is the latest in a series of job losses after the bank acquired Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) in 2008. Some 30,000 jobs were lost as part of the integration of the two banks, and a further 15,000 went in 2011 when Horta-Osório took over as CEO.
"The group is performing strongly. We have met or exceeded the strategic objectives set out in 2011 and are ready to move on to the next stage in our development," said Horta-Osório.
Rob MacGregor, national officer for finance at the Unite trade union, warned that the latest round of cuts will have implications for customer services.
"Once again we see Lloyds Bank seeking to make short-term ‘savings' at the expense of the workforce and customer service. Unite's overriding concern is to challenge and avoid any compulsory redundancies," he said.
The job losses come at a time of flux in the retail banking industry, which is threatened by disintermediation, i.e. borrowers going directly to people with money to lend rather than banks.
Many in the sector fear the consequences of an ‘Uber-isation' of the industry that could end up marginalising banks, while IT jobs are under threat from the standardisation of banking platforms.
Lloyds Banking Group includes Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Scottish Widows and Lex Autolease, among others.
The bank is still grappling with its ill-advised 2008 acquisition of HBOS made at the behest of the government in a bid to save HBOS from bankruptcy as the global financial crisis gathered pace, a rescue that ultimately failed.
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