Lloyds Banking Group to cut 700 jobs


Part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group announced 700 job cuts across the UK today as chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio continues to overhaul the lender.

The job losses, in a wide range of divisions and locations, form part of 15,000 cuts announced in June under Mr Horta-Osorio's strategic review for the business.

Lloyds, which is 40.2 per cent owned by the taxpayer, said the biggest chunk of job losses would be at offices in Cardiff and Newport, where 200 face the axe. The remaining cuts are spread across the UK.

The announcement comes shortly after Mr Horta-Osorio returned to the bank after a two-month leave of absence due to severe sleeping problems.

It also follows official unemployment figures which showed the number of jobless in the UK hitting a 17-year high of 2.68 million in the three months to November.

The group said it would use natural turnover and redeploy people where possible and compulsory redundancies would always be a "last resort".

All affected employees were briefed by their line managers today, Lloyds added, while the group's recognised unions were consulted prior to the announcement.

The group said in its strategic review that it would target middle-management roles, while divisions affected in this latest round include community bank, wholesale, and wealth and international divisions, among others.

In addition to 15,000 job cuts revealed in June, Mr Horta-Osorio also announced plans to reduce the company's international presence from 30 countries to fewer than 15 by 2014. He also pledged to revitalise the Halifax brand.

Lloyds said underlying profits fell 21 per cent to £644 million in the three months to September 30 after being hit by weaker demand for loans and higher wholesale funding costs.