Banks under fire over job cuts - Business News - Business - The Independent

Banks under fire over job cuts

Two of Britain's biggest banks came under fire from unions today after announcing plans to cut thousands more jobs in the industry.





Lloyds Banking Group said it will lose 15,000 staff by 2014 as part of new chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio's strategic review, while HSBC said it will cut 700 roles.



The unions said they were "flabbergasted" by the day's job losses and accused the banks of finding "any excuse" to cut them.



Mr Horta-Osorio, who took up the top post in March, was unrepentant and insisted the cuts had to be made for the good of the bank and UK economy.



The latest cull at Lloyds, which owns brands including Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Scottish Widows, will bring total job losses at the 41% state-owned bank to nearly 45,000 since it was formed in 2009 when Lloyds TSB and HBOS merged.



Portuguese-born Mr Horta-Osorio pledged to create a more "agile" organisation, with the majority of job cuts in middle management and back office roles.



David Fleming, Unite national officer, said the Lloyds review will cause "deep distress and anxiety".



He said: "Astonishingly one in eight roles will be lost over the next three years. This review is merely another box-ticking exercise to give this bank - which has already, since its creation two years ago, cut over 27,000 staff - an excuse to sack more employees."



Mr Horta-Osorio also announced plans to reduce the company's international presence from 30 countries to less than 15 by 2014.



He also pledged to revitalise the Halifax brand and will keep the Scottish Widows insurance arm.



The group said it has repaid a hefty chunk off the liquidity support from the Government and Bank of England - which was set up in 2008 as a lifeline for banks battling to raise finance during the credit crunch.



Lloyds said it had reduced the facilities from £97 billion at December 31 to £37 billion and was on course to repay completely by October 2012.



Addressing concerns about job losses, Mr Horta-Osorio said: "It's important to note that these are roles not people. We have a strong record of minimising redundancies."



But he added: "We have to do this. This bank has lost money, it's losing money this year on an after-tax basis.



"We have to get this bank back on to its feet to support the UK economy and we have to pay taxpayers' money back."



Lloyds Banking Group has 104,000 full-time staff worldwide.



In the UK, it has main offices in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast among others. Mr Horta-Osorio added that some of the 15,000 job losses will come from plans to downsize overseas, while his plans to "revitalise" the Halifax brand will see it launch a new advertising campaign in September.



The chief executive would not go into detail but did say the bank's 650 branches will start opening on Saturdays in a bid to improve customer relations.



He pledged to keep branch numbers at the same levels, outside its agreement with the EU to sell 632 outlets, and would not offshore further UK permanent roles.



Mr Horta-Osorio said Lloyds, as the largest retail and commercial bank in Britain, was committed to the UK.



He said the UK economy and Lloyds were "inextricably linked" and the review was based on a cautious economic outlook.



Mr Horta-Osorio won over investors with his vision for the business as Lloyds' shares lifted by as much as 8% at one stage on the FTSE 100 Index.



Bruce Packard, financials analyst at Seymour Pierce Research, said the overhaul "looks sensible".



HSBC said it was reshaping its wealth management business before Retail Distribution Review rules are introduced in January 2013.



The new law will mean UK banks can no longer offer financial advice for free, so HSBC expects demand for the service to decline. However, the bank will still have 1,500 advisers across the UK.



David Fleming said the union was "flabbergasted" by HSBC's staff cuts and accused the bank of attempting to "bury its own bad news" on the same day as Lloyds announced its job losses.



He said: "The workforce being hit by these extensive cuts today were in no way responsible for the banking crisis, yet it is these staff, many of which are low-paid, who are having to pay for the bank's recovery."



HSBC last month put its US branch network and credit cards business under review as part of a multibillion-dollar cost-cutting plan.



In the UK, it said it will evaluate its position once the final decision of the Independent Commission on Banking is published, which could force it to ringfence its retail business.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Training Coordinator / Resource Planner - City, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week