It’s a great day for Halifax, insists Lloyds chief as 15,000 more bank jobs are axed

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LLOYDS banking’s top man in Halifax last night pledged: “The town has a bright future at the heart of the bank.”

David Nicholson, MD of the Halifax Community Bank, spoke to the Courier after the bombshell announcement of a further 15,000 job cuts.

He insisted: “It was an important day for the group and a particularly good day for Halifax. I can absolutely say the group remains committed to the main centres in Halifax.

“The Halifax business is going to be at the heart of the group.

“This is a great place for us to be and it will remain a key centre.

“Jobs will change l Turn to Page 2

but we have a commitment to Halifax as a centre and its key buildings.

“I think yesterday was a really positive day for the Halifax business, brand and town.”

Mr Nicholson, who is based in Halifax, said it was vitally important the bank provided the best for customers.

That includes some manual functions becoming automated.

“In Halifax we have a lot of IT, particularly at Copley, and as we become more automated the type of skills in Calderdale are a real positive,” he said.

The Halifax brand is to be relaunched in September backed by a massive advertising campaign.

And, next Thursday, Lloyds Banking Group’s chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio will visit Halifax and meet staff.

“That shows commitment - we are in a good place,” said Mr Nicholson.

Yesterday’s announcement sent shockwaves through the bank and means the total number of jobs cut between 2009 and 2014 will exceed 40,000.

Middle managers, backroom staff and overseas employees are in the firing line.

The bank said many of the reductions would be achieved through natural turnover and it would retrain staff affected by changes.

It is not known at this stage how many individuals working at Trinity Road and Copley will be displaced.

Mr Nicholson’s optimism is shared by Ged Nichols, general secretary of the Accord Union which represents a majority of former HBOS staff.

He said while the huge job losses were depressing the commitment to the Halifax brand was good news.

“I think Copley is going to be a significant site for Lloyds Banking Group in IT long into the future,” said Mr Nichols.

“At Trinity Road there are a variety of functions but I do not see a threat to any specific location.

“There might be middle management losses at Trinity Road but that does not mean there is a question mark over Trinity Road itself.

“It would make a nonsense of the commitment to the Halifax brand if the bank pulled out of the town,” he said.

Halifax MP Linda Riordan said she was worried and didn’t want to see jobs lost in Halifax or elsewhere.