Lloyds Banking Group has announced a further 550 jobs as part of a major overhaul taking the total job cuts to 8,550. The latest job losses, which come on top of 1,340 revealed in January, will be cut from Lloyds’ risk, insurance, commercial banking, retail and wealth, asset finance and international divisions. Lloyds plans to implement its turnaround strategy aimed at strengthening the bank’s capital base, partly through cutting 15,000 jobs by 2014. The news has made workers union Unite furious as it claimed that although the bank continued to cut direct employees, Lloyds was still hiring more agency workers. The union said that Lloyds currently employed 4,000 agency staff across its businesses at the moment.
“Lloyds cannot continue to cut now then ask questions later. It’s madness that the bank has so many agency workers when it’s cutting so many permanent jobs”, said Unite national officer Dominic Hook. The Unite officer also said stability and growth, which are Lloyds most prominent goals, would not be achieved by “continuous and damaging job cuts”.
The news of further job cuts comes just after Lloyds sold 20% of its stake in St James Place in an effort to boost its capital reserves ahead of Financial Services Authority’s review. The bank defended the job cuts by stating,”The group’s policy is always to use natural turnover and redeploy people wherever possible to retain their expertise and knowledge within the group. Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, it will look to achieve this by offering voluntary redundancy – compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort.”
Lloyds has cut more than 30,000 jobs and shut down overseas units to focus on the UK since its £20bn taxpayer rescue in 2008. While that’s the case with Lloyds, the UK banking sector has shed some 132,000 jobs since the fourth quarter of 2008, when the global financial crisis began.