Lloyds Banking Group plans to cut a further 1,070 jobs despite reporting better-than-expected profits on the back of a UK mortgage boom less than a week ago.
The bank, which announced the cuts to staff on Wednesday morning, said the job losses were part of restructuring plans meant to simplify the business. Lloyds is also creating about 340 roles, although there is no guarantee that they will be filled by staff affected by the cuts.
The cuts add to the 865 Lloyds announced in September, having put the reduction in headcount on hold during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bank, which has not taken any help from the government’s furlough scheme, said most staff affected by the latest round of cuts would not leave until January at the earliest. It added that staff would also be redeployed where possible.
The cuts will mostly affect the group transformation division – including staff working on IT and digital changes across the bank – as well as the retail business. Staff in its insurance and wealth offices will also be affected. No frontline staff or branches will be hit by the latest round of job losses.
Accord, a union with members in the Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), said: “The job losses are a real blow as people continue to deal with the impacts of the pandemic and lockdowns – making the search for alternative roles very difficult for those facing redundancy at a time of increasing unemployment.”
Unite, another union that has members who work for LBG, said the cuts were hard to square with the quarterly results announced last week. It is urging Lloyds to put its restructuring plans on hold in light of the pandemic.
Unite said: “LBG has produced better-than-expected third-quarter results, posting in excess of £1bn of pre-tax profit – a direct result of the hard work and versatility of its workforce. This cost-cutting strategy will not serve the bank or its customers. It is impossible to reconcile the job losses announced today with such an improved balance sheet.”
Lloyds said: “These changes reflect our ongoing plans to continue to meet our customers’ changing needs and make parts of our business simpler.
“Change does mean making difficult decisions and our focus remains on supporting our customers, colleagues and communities.”