Bank warns of job losses until 1995

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The Independent Online
Despite Lloyds Bank's failed bid for Midland, Lloyds' chiefs are convinced there will be a continued shakeout in the banking industry that will drastically reduce staff numbers and branches, writes Lisa Vaughan.

Brian Pitman, chief executive, said: 'In 1991, 30,000 jobs went in the industry, and I'd say there will be another 30,000 this year.' He forecast bank job losses to continue at that pace in 1993, 1994 and 1995, but added: 'I wouldn't like to put a number on it.'

He said a similar shakeout occurred in UK manufacturing in the early 1980s, and now it was banking's turn. 'Banks have got years of reducing costs ahead,' Mr Pitman said. Because of sterling's ERM membership, 'we're in a transition to low inflation, so there will be low pay increases'.

It was estimated that 20,000 UK bank jobs would go if Lloyds had acquired Midland. Lloyds cut 1,615 UK jobs in the past six months, on target for its goal of 3,000 this year. Sir Jeremy Morse, the chairman, said he also expected more Lloyds branch closures in 1992.

Bifu, the finance union, urged Lloyds to cancel job losses to restore morale. But Sir Jeremy said morale had recovered after the failed bid. 'The water closed over it extremely quickly,' he said. The bid cost the bank pounds 4m.

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