Lloyds Banking Cuts 850 Jobs in Insurance and Consumer Units

Lloyds Banking Group Plc, the U.K.’s biggest mortgage lender, is cutting 850 jobs in its business banking, consumer, insurance, wealth, consumer and asset-finance divisions to control costs.

Lloyds will also close its office in Southend, England, the London-based company said in a statement today. The reductions are part of the 15,000 job losses Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio announced in June 2011.

Horta-Osorio, 49, is seeking to strengthen Lloyds’s balance sheet by selling assets and cutting costs. Lloyds has eliminated more than 35,000 positions and closed overseas units to focus on the U.K. since the bank received a 20 billion-pound ($31 billion) bailout amid the 2008 banking crisis.

“Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, it will look to achieve this by offering voluntary redundancy,” the bank said. “Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort.”

Lloyds has cut more than 2,750 since the start of the year, the Unite union said in a separate statement today.

“Lloyds is celebrating a return to profit and there are hints of dividend pay-outs to shareholders but the bank’s workers are in constant fear that they will be next for the chop,” Unite National Officer Dominic Hook said in the statement. “It’s time to urgently review this continuous tide of cuts and build the bank’s strength.”

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