Lloyds Cutting 625 Jobs, Closing Branches as Part of 2014 Plan

  • Cuts are part of strategy to remove 9,000 employees by 2017
  • Job losses across divisions including consumer operations

Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Britain’s largest mortgage lender, will eliminate 625 jobs across operations and close 21 branches as part of broader cost cuts announced in October 2014.

The decision is part of plan to pare about 9,000 roles by 2017, the London-based bank said in a statement on Thursday. The losses are in divisions such as consumer operations, risk management and finance. It said it would create about 195 new jobs, giving a net reduction of about 430 roles.

Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio is seeking to cut costs by eliminating jobs, shrinking the branch network and selling assets to help boost profitability and protect rising dividend payments as the government reduces its stake in the bank. The government still owns a 9.2 percent of the lender after spending 20.5 billion pounds ($29 billion) rescuing it during the financial crisis.

“All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager,” Lloyds said in a statement. The bank will seek to “redeploy people wherever possible. Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, it will look to achieve this by offering voluntary redundancy.”

The Unite labor union, which represents some Lloyds employees, said the bank was moving some IT roles to India and would impose a hiring freeze at some units. Divisions affected by the changes include consumer and commercial banking, legal and strategy, with potential job losses at administration sites in London and the English cities of Brighton, Gloucester, Leeds, Halifax and Wolverhampton, it said in a statement.

“Staff in Lloyds Banking Group have been living with the worry of job insecurity since 2009 and the job losses aren’t over yet,” Ged Nichols, general secretary of the Accord labor union which represents Lloyds employees, said in a statement. “We’ll do everything we can to assist them at this difficult time.”

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