State-backed Lloyds Banking Group is to cut 9,000 jobs over the next three years as part of plans which will see the net closure of 150 branches.
The group, which is 25 per cent owned by the taxpayer, said it plans to “digitise” the bank, adding that it wants to simplify the business and be more efficient.
Meanwhile, third-quarter results showed underlying profits for the business, which includes Halifax and Bank of Scotland, up 41 per cent to £2.2 billion.
Bottom line pre-tax profits were £751 million after taking into account one-off charges including a £900 million increase in provision for payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal.
It takes the running total of the sum set aside for PPI by Lloyds to £11.32 billion.
The job cuts announced by Lloyds represent around 10 per cent of its current workforce of 88,000. It has already slashed more than 30,000 since the start of the financial crisis.
Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said: “Over the last three years the successful delivery of our strategy has ensured that we have become a safe, highly efficient, UK-focused retail and commercial bank.
“The next phase of our strategy will use these strong foundations as a basis for meeting the rapidly-changing needs of our customers, and sets out how we will grow the business in a way that will deliver increasing and sustainable returns for our shareholders.”
But Rob MacGregor, national officer of the Unite union, said: “These are deeply unsettling times for Lloyds staff, who, after days of speculation and leaks, face yet another round of job cuts and a future of uncertainty.
“Job cuts of approximately 10 per cent could have unknown consequences on customer service and will put even more pressure on staff who have helped get the bank back on the right track.”
Halifax MP Linda Riordan slammed the job losses.
She said: “These job losses are totally unnecessary. It is a sad day for hard working Lloyds staff across the country. If any jobs need culling it’s the over-paid executives at the top. Remember, this is a company that made £1.61bn in pre-tax profits. Is there really a need to shed 9,000 jobs? I am urgently pressing for a no compulsory redundancy guarantee. It’s the least the company can do, in a week where yet again they have put profit before people.”