A post relating to this item from Finextra:
03 November 2008 | 7463 views | 0
Lloyds TSB says it expects to reap £1.5 billion in annual savings from consolidation of technology, branch closures and job cuts as part of its mega merger with distressed high street rival HBOS.
It's an interesting dilemma for an organisation like LloydsTSB. They need to be quite bullish about the benefits to be derived from the takeover of HBOS (if they are to convince people to support it) whilst trying to minimise the PR damage that will result
from owning up to large job losses.
On the other hand, how can those trying to decide on the merits (those voting on the takeover) believe the figures without a sensible level of detail that shows how they are to be achieved?
It's a fag packet calculation, granted, but let's assume that the average
saveable annual cost of a member of staff is £40k (salary, NI, etc.). Also let's assume that the amount of the annual £790m saving in the retail bank due to staff cuts is 75%, then the number of staff that would need to go is around 15k. Should the
average staff cost be £30k, then the number to be removed is closer to 20k.
Apply that across the whole of the £1.5 billion saving across the merged bank, and the numbers that have to be removed would be between 30k and 40k.
Maybe this is where the speculations have emerged within the Press. Remember also that the easiest cost saving to realise is staff; losing property and infrastructure cost is much more difficult and involved, especially in the current climate, so maybe
the speculation isn't that wide of the mark.
If I was a Lloyds shareholder, I think I'd want detail at this level, to enable me to understand the achievability of the numbers - because that is how I get value, ultimately, for the risk that I take in holding these shares. Trouble is, if I got that,
then the bank would have a PR challenge to handle, to put it mildly.
Then, of course, there is the even moe politically fraught matter of where in the UK the losses come from...!