Bumper pay day for banking staff

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THOUSANDS of Lloyds Banking Group workers in Halifax have this week been told what bonus they have earned.

The money gives a welcome boost to the local economy on the back of the bank returning to profit.

Accord union general secretary Ged Nichols defended the payouts and said it was important people separated the rank-and-file workers from the fat-cat bosses earning huge sums.

“We expect most staff will get a bonus in March pay packets,” he said.

“It’s important to differentiate between the fat cats at the top and ordinary staff for which the bonus makes up part of their income.”

Bonus payments vary and Mr Nichols said he hadn’t got an overall figure or across-the- board percentage. But cash payouts are limited to £2,000. Outgoing chief executive Eric Daniels was awarded a £1.45 million bonus.

Last week Lloyds announced profits of more than £2.21 billion.

“Hopefully, we are over the worst in terms of job losses,” said Mr Nichols.

“It’s good to see the bank back in profit but there is a long way to go to get the share price back to where it was.

“A lot of people are working hard and deserve a pay award as well as a bonus.”

The union was this week in talks with ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) after staff turned down a 2.5 per cent pay offer.

Halifax MP Linda Riordan said the bank’s upturn underlined the hard work of staff in Halifax where the bank employs around 6,000.

She is urging the bank to announce there will be no further job losses and is scheduled to meet next week Helen Weir, the bank’s group executive director of retail banking.

Mrs Riordan said front-line staff had done much to contribute to the high profit levels.

“These are really good figures, but we shouldn’t forget that it is hard-working banking staff in Halifax who have helped to achieve them.

“And these figures underline that Lloyds doesn’t need to be making savings, so I would like to see an immediate assurance that there will be no further job losses among banking staff.

“The bank is making billions, so sacking people simply cannot be justified.

“It has been cutting jobs by stealth and I think it would be absolutely outrageous if there were further cuts.

“If it is going to make future cost-cutting measures, it needs to start looking at the top.

l Should the rank-and-file workers get a bonus? Email yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk