UK bank LLoyds TSB is axing hundreds of jobs by closing 31 branches operated by its mortgage lender Cheltenham & Gloucester (C&G) and shifting 210 IT roles to offshore centres.
According to a report by UK newspaper The Guardian, the 210 tech jobs being offshored amount to nearly half of C&G's IT staff and will come from offices in London, Cardiff and Manchester.
Around 100 are permanent jobs and 110 are contract positions, says the report. All IT staff will be offered voluntary redundancy.
In a statement C&G says 31 branches will be closed, resulting in 315 job losses.
Jon Pain, managing director at C&G, said: "Closing branches is never a decision that we take lightly but, with more customers taking advantage of technology, the number of customers coming through the doors in these particular branches has fallen. By closing these branches where customer use has dropped, we can invest in the branches that customers do use."
Unite, the newly formed union which incorporates finance branch Amicus, branded the decision to close the C&G branches as "needless".
John Bancroft, Unite officer, says: "We will oppose any compulsory job losses and will continue to challenge the business rationale for this decision. We believe local branches are the financial lifeblood of the company. This decision could affect a number of local communities in terms of banking facilities."
But Pain says customers will not be disadvantaged by the move: "There is generally a C&G branch in a neighbouring town and there is a Lloyds TSB branch within one mile where impacted customers will be able to transact on their C&G account."
Last year Lloyds TSB closed a UK administration and customer service centre operated by C&G and moved all 350 jobs to its offshore centre in India.