Union brands Lloyds a 'disgrace' as another 940 staff face the axe

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The Independent Online

Part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group was labelled a "complete disgrace" as it announced plans to cut almost 1000 jobs.

The latest cull brings the total number of jobs cut by the bank, which is 41 per cent-owned by the taxpayer, to more than 30,000, a quarter of its workforce, since it saved HBOS from nationalisation at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

Lloyds said 940 jobs would go across its operations, insurance, retail, wealth and international and commercial divisions. The bank also cut 200 jobs in human resources on Monday, and last week shed 175 jobs across the Halifax branch network.

The bank said it was "working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way", but the cuts triggered outrage from trade unions.

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "It is a complete disgrace that the bank continues to cut jobs in such a cavalier way.

"Unite has warned Lloyds that if they are looking for a period of stability and growth to return it to profitability, this cannot and will not be achieved by continuous and damaging job cuts.

"Unite opposes these cuts and will be doing everything possible to stop compulsory redundancies."

Accord general secretary Ged Nichols added: "This is a bleak start to the year for hard-working Lloyds employees and is bad news for the UK economy."

Bank workers face a bleak new year, as Lloyds' news followed a announcement of a similar level of job cuts at Barclays on Tuesday.

It confirmed that consultations are taking place with UK staff at its investment bank over what could be substantial job losses as a result of new chief executive Antony Jenkins' "Transform" programme.

Some 800 jobs could go in a programme designed, according to Barclays, to "optimise the business".

The Independent understands that Barclays is planning to transfer hundreds of roles to India in a bid to reduce costs. The bank is believed to have sent a team to recruit and train new staff there to replace workers in both London and New York.

Mr Jenkins will next outline his plans for the bank at a strategy presentation on 12 February although he is expected to resist calls from some investors to hive off the investment bank.

Ian Gordon, an analyst at Investec, said that the Barclays cuts would eventually prove beneficial for shareholders. "We knew that this "procedure" was coming and, in our view, only a relatively small proportion of this number will be heading out the door," he said.

"However, what it does bring home is that consensus still appears to underestimate the material benefit that will flow through the BarCap cost line as headcount and pay are rebased to the benefit of the shareholder."