Lloyds to cut around 1,600 branch jobs in digital switch

Lloyds Bank

LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest domestic bank Lloyds (LLOY.L), is cutting around 1,600 roles across its branch network, a spokesperson for the lender said on Thursday, as part of an overhaul to provide more services online.

The cuts are part of a renewed push by banks to axe costs as tough economic conditions and pressure on margins from competition and peaking rates prompt them to tighten their belts, despite a year of robust profits for the industry.

Rival Barclays also slashed thousands of jobs last year, with the majority falling in the bank’s back office support unit, Reuters first reported in November.

As part of its revamp, Lloyds also plans to create 830 roles in an expanded ‘relationship growth’ team to understand customers’ financial goals and provide services across branches, video meetings and over the phone, the Lloyds spokesperson said.

The net result of the changes will be a loss of about 769 roles, the spokesperson said.

The process is separate to a shake-up of mainly back office roles reported in November, the spokesperson said, which put around 2,500 jobs at risk.

In a post on social media platform X, employee union Accord said the move would represent significant changes to ways of working for its members.

“As more customers choose to manage their day-to-day banking online, it’s important our people are available when it matters most,” the Lloyds spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added there would be no role reductions for the “most junior” positions, and voluntary redundancy was also being offered in some situations.

News of the fresh round of restructuring comes amid rising investor concerns Lloyds may have to shell out hundreds of millions of pounds to compensate customers who might have overpaid for motor finance between 2007 and 2021.

Regulator the Financial Conduct Authority launched a review into the market earlier this month, which analysts at RBC estimated in a note on Thursday could ultimately cost Lloyds – a big player in the market through its subsidiary Black Horse – as much as 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion).

Analysts at Jefferies estimated a potential 1.8 billion pound bill for Lloyds, in a separate note on Wednesday.

A Black Horse spokesperson said: “We are currently reviewing the FOS decision and will work collaboratively with the FCA on their upcoming review.”

 

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