Lloyds TSB details £1.5 billion cost cuts

Lloyds TSB details £1.5 billion cost cuts

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.

In a Stock Exchange statement issued Monday, Lloyds TSB detailed a wide-ranging cost-cutting plan for the combined group.

In retail banking, the bank expects to realise £790 million in savings over the next three years as it moves to close branches and call centres and consolidate processing and technology platforms.

Similar exercises across the insurance and investments arms, within wholesale and international banking and through the integration of central and support group functions will lead to a further £710 million in cost synergies.

The plans have raised fears that up to 30,000 jobs could be shed as a result of the merger, although Lloyds TSB has refused to provide any details.

"There will inevitably be some rationalisation of the combined workforce as a result of these initiatives and consultation will take place with, among others, the recognised trade unions in respect of how this can best be achieved," says the bank in its statement.

Finance sector union Unite has called on the bank to come clean about its intentions, and asked the Government to step in to protect jobs. Unite joint general secretary, Derek Simpson, says: "It is completely unacceptable for the banks to continue fuelling speculation while leaving their worried staff in the dark. It is now time to start thinking about the human consequences of this takeover."

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