Lloyds to axe another 5,000 jobs

Author: By Alan Jones, Press Association

Up to 5,000 positions are expected to be cut in the UK in 2010, on top of
thousands already slashed this year.

The bank is expected to make an announcement confirming the job losses later
today.

Several thousand jobs have been cut this year, leaving Lloyds with around
130,000 employees.

Rob MacGregor, national officer of the Unite union, said: “This Lloyds
Banking Group announcement of 5,000 job losses demonstrates the depth of
corporate arrogance within this taxpayer-supported bank.

“This country’s financial sector should be looking towards the future,
rather than continuing to slash jobs without proper consideration of how to
rebuild the public’s confidence in our tarnished banking sector.

“Today marks the start of another dark week for finance workers. It
beggars belief that, just days after 5,400 jobs were cut in RBS and HSBC, we
see further devastation for workers in this part- nationalised financial
institution.”

Unite said the fresh job cuts would hit workers in Lloyds’ insurance, group
operations and retail divisions, describing it as a “bitter blow”
for staff.

“Unite is calling for the immediate suspension of all job losses in order
for the company to introduce an agreement with the union of no compulsory
redundancies in any section of Lloyds.

“The Government cannot afford to continue to look the other way as
hard-working families are punished in this manner.”

Ged Nichols, general secretary of Accord, the union representing the largest
number of former HBOS employees now working in Lloyds, said: “Today’s
announcement is terrible news for the employees who are affected and their
families.

“We always recognised that some job losses were inevitable as Lloyds TSB
integrated HBOS operations, but the scale of changes announced today will
leave many staff in shock.

“Some of those who are affected will have a long wait before anything
definite happens and they may find the uncertainty very difficult to cope
with.

“Accord believes that it is vitally important that LBG works closely with
the union to ensure that employees are properly supported through the
changes and the process is managed without resorting to compulsory
redundancies.

“Accord will be providing full support to every member affected by
today’s announcement.”

Lloyds later confirmed that around 5,000 jobs would be hit by changes within
its group operations, insurance and retail divisions by the end of 2010.

The bank said the cuts would be “significantly mitigated” by
redeployment and the release of contractors, temporary staff and offshore
employees.

“Taking these mitigating actions into account means there will be a net
reduction of about 2,600 permanent jobs across the UK by the end of 2010,”
the bank said in a statement.

“In group operations, 2,820 roles will be affected, including 720 roles
being redeployed. In addition, approximately 750 of the total role
reductions, including about 550 offshore positions, are expected to be
achieved through the release of contractors and temporary staff. Following
these changes, there will be a net reduction of 1,350 jobs in group
operations.

“Within insurance, 1,190 roles will be affected across the UK. 950 will
come from the life, pensions and investments business and 240 from general
insurance. Approximately 250 of the role reductions are expected to be
achieved through the release of contractors and temporary staff. Therefore,
there will be a net reduction of 940 jobs in insurance.

“Within mortgage operations, approximately 950 roles will be affected
across the UK as the business is consolidated to seven sites. However, 680
positions will be relocated to a new site or redeployed. Following these
changes, there will therefore be a net reduction of 270 jobs in mortgage
operations.

“Lloyds Banking Group is committed to working through these changes with
colleagues carefully and sensitively. All affected colleagues have been
briefed by their line manager today. Unions were consulted prior to this
announcement and will continue to be consulted throughout the process.

“The group’s policy is to use natural turnover and to redeploy people
wherever possible to retain their expertise and knowledge within the group.

“Where it is necessary for colleagues to leave the company, it will look
to achieve this by offering voluntary severance and by making less use of
contractors and agency colleagues. Compulsory redundancies will be a last
resort.”

Mark Fisher, group integration director, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Today
marks another important step in bringing our businesses together. In
addition, our commitment is to keep colleagues fully informed about our
integration plans.

“We will continue to work closely with our colleagues affected by today’s
announcement to help them through these changes over the coming year. We
have mitigated the impact on positions through redeployment and the release
of contractors and temporary staff.”

Lloyds has cut around 10,000 jobs since taking over HBOS at the end of last
year.

The UK “superbank” formed by Lloyds’ takeover of HBOS has endured a
rocky ride since news of the rescue broke in September last year.

The deal – backed by Gordon Brown at the height of the credit crisis to stave
off the nationalisation of ailing HBOS – created a giant with 3,000
branches, 22 million current accounts and 27 per cent of gross mortgage
lending.

Lloyds believed the takeover was a good long-term bet, but the toxic baggage
brought by HBOS’s reckless lending and the impact of recession on its loan
book has seen the Government take a 43 per cent stake.

The State initially pumped in £17 billion, but will invest another £5.7
billion under a mammoth £13.5 billion shareholder cash call announced last
week to avoid the Government’s asset protection scheme (APS).

Lloyds has also been forced into a major shake-up to appease European
Commission concerns over its State support, agreeing to sell the branches
and business of Cheltenham & Gloucester and Lloyds TSB Scotland, as well
as additional Lloyds TSB branches in England and Wales. The TSB brand and
internet operation Intelligent Finance will also be offloaded.

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