Lloyds Banking Group faces battle with unions over 5,000 more job cuts

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The Independent Online

Unions reacted with fury yesterday after Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) announced another round of job cuts.

The company is planning to axe 5,000 posts by the end of next year, part of the continuing fallout from the shotgun wedding of Lloyds TSB with HBoS that rescued the latter from likely collapse.

While some of the cutbacks will be felt among temporary staff, contractors and offshore workers, the bank said that there would still be a "net reduction" of 2,600 full-time posts. They cuts come on top of the 5,400 banking industry jobs that will be axed in Britain by Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC and were announced over the past week.

The majority of the jobs will go from Lloyds' central "group operations" with lesser cutbacks affecting retail banking and insurance operations. The cuts are being imposed despite the gradual return to health of the bank, which has said that bad debts have peaked and which managed to escape the Government's asset protection scheme as a result.

Rob MacGregor, national officer at the Unite union, said that the announcement "demonstrates the depth of corporate arrogance within this taxpayer-supported bank".

He added: "This country's financial sector should be looking towards the future, rather then continuing to slash jobs without proper consideration of how to rebuild the public's confidence in our tarnished banking sector."

He added: "Unite is calling for the immediate suspension of all job losses in order for the company to introduce an agreement with the union of no compulsory redundancies in any section of LBG. The Government cannot afford to continue to look the other way as hard-working families are punished in this manner."

In total, Lloyds has announced more than 10,000 job cuts this year and unions fear that there could be still more to follow. Mark Fisher, group integration director at Lloyds, said: "Today marks another important step in bringing our businesses together. In addition, our commitment is to keep colleagues fully informed."

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