STATE-BACKED Lloyds Banking Group has announced this morning that it is to cut 9,000 jobs over the next three years as part of plans which will see the closure of 150 branches.
The group, which has branches across the Portsmouth area, and is 25 per cent owned by the taxpayer, said it plans to ‘digitise’ the bank, adding that it wants to simplify the business and be more efficient.
Lloyds has not been able to give assurances over the safety of jobs across The News’ area.
A spokesman for the bank said: ‘It is too early to tell which branches will be closing but over the next three years we will be looking at towns and urban areas where there is an overlap in branches when we are making our decision.’
Third-quarter results showed underlying profits for the business, which includes Halifax and Bank of Scotland, up 41 per cent to £2.2bn.
Bottom line pre-tax profits were £693m after taking into account one-off charges including a £900m increase in provision for payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal.
It takes the running total of the sum set aside for PPI by Lloyds to £11.32bn.
The job cuts announced by Lloyds represent around 10 per cent of its current workforce of 88,000. It has already slashed more than 30,000 since the start of the financial crisis.
Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said: ‘Over the last three years the successful delivery of our strategy has ensured that we have become a safe, highly efficient, UK-focused retail and commercial bank.
‘The next phase of our strategy will use these strong foundations as a basis for meeting the rapidly-changing needs of our customers, and sets out how we will grow the business in a way that will deliver increasing and sustainable returns for our shareholders.’
But Rob MacGregor, national officer of the Unite union, said: ‘These are deeply unsettling times for Lloyds staff, who, after days of speculation and leaks, face yet another round of job cuts and a future of uncertainty.
‘Job cuts of approximately 10 per cent could have unknown consequences on customer service and will put even more pressure on staff who have helped get the bank back on the right track.’
LLoyds branches in The News’ area:
Commercial Road, Portsmouth
London Road, North End
High Street, Cosham
London Road, Waterlooville
Hambledon Road, Denmead
West Street, Fareham
West Street, Portchester
Stubbington Green, Stubbington
The Square, Wickham
High St, Gosport
Eastney Road, Milton
Palmerston Road, Southsea