Lloyds Plans to Eliminate 700 Jobs Across Divisions at the Bank

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Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Britain’s largest mortgage lender, plans to eliminate about 700 jobs across several divisions as part of cuts proposed last year.

The reductions will be made in consumer and commercial banking, risk management, human resources and group operations, the London-based bank said in a statement on Wednesday. The cuts are part of 9,000 job losses Lloyds told staff it would make in October in a strategic review.

Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio, 51, is seeking to close about 150 branches and cut 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in costs by 2017, are within a plan to invest in digital systems as more customers switch to online banking.

“Lloyds is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way,” the bank said in the statement. “Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort.”

The bank said it would create about 65 new positions across its retail, consumer finance, commercial banking and finance units, bringing the net job reductions to 635. Lloyds employed about 94,000 people in the U.K. in 2014, according to its annual report.

“These job losses are part of the 9,000 announced when the bank carried out its strategic review in 2014 so there will be more to come,” Ged Nichols, general secretary of Accord, said in a statement. The union said it would do “everything possible to avoid compulsory redundancies.”

Separately, Lloyds hired Simon Davies, managing partner of law firm Linklaters LLP, to the newly created position of chief people, legal and strategy officer to help manage employee relations, the bank said in a statement. He joins in January, reporting to Horta-Osorio.