Lloyds under fire for axing 850 staff

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Lloyds Banking Group is under attack for cutting hundreds more jobs and closing a large office.

The Unite union said 850 staff would be axed, mainly in Southend, Essex.

It said the bank has announced almost 2,750 job losses since the start of the year and that Lloyds, HSBC and Barclays combined had announced cuts of around 5,500 jobs this year.

Lloyds’ office in Southend is set to close, putting 690 jobs at risk, while the bank is also cutting another 160 roles across its commercial banking and insurance operations, said Unite.

National officer Dominic Hook said: “Lloyds is celebrating a return to profit and there are hints of dividend payouts to shareholders but the bank’s workers are in constant fear that they will be next for the chop.

“This is no way to treat staff. It’s time to urgently review this continuous tide of cuts and build the bank’s strength.

“The constant job cutting across is bad for bank staff, does nothing to support customers and it’s bad for Britain’s economy.

“Britain’s banking industry has a duty to the communities it profits from and that means these institutions need to be responsible employers.”

Lloyds says the job losses are in its commercial banking, retail, group operations, group executive functions, finance, insurance, and wealth, asset finance and international divisions.

The bank said around 275 roles are being created, mainly in Belfast and Pitreavie, Scotland.

It said in a statement: “Lloyds is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way.

“All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager today. The group’s recognised unions were consulted prior to this announcement and will continue to be consulted. Policy is always to use natural turnover and to redeploy people wherever possible to retain their expertise and knowledge within the group.”