Lloyds shutters call centre, cuts more staff; branch sell-off IPO mooted

Lloyds shutters call centre, cuts more staff; branch sell-off IPO mooted

Lloyds Banking Group is to axe 300 jobs and shutter a call centre in Bridgend, forcing the 700 staff who work there to relocate to other locations.

Unions reacted angrily to the latest round of restructuring at the UK bank, which has shed almost 28,000 jobs since the start of the banking crisis in 2008.

The 300 job cuts are inside the retail, wholesale, wealth and international and group operations divisions. At the Bridgend call centre, staff will be offered alternative roles in other local offices in Cardiff, Swansea and Newport.

David Fleming Unite national officer says the decision will "devastate" the local workforce in Bridgend.

"When the Bridgend site opened there was a significant commitment to the community and the bank secured a grant to this end," he says. "This withdrawal smacks of hypocrisy and makes a mockery of the statements made by the new CEO, Antonio Horta-Osorio, to support the bank's communities and customers."

Unions fear that more job cuts could be looming, as Horta-Osorio presents the results of a strategic review of the bank's operations at a presentation to analysts later this month.

Lloyds is currently hawking 600 branches to potential bidders as part of an EU-enforced sell off associated with its takeover of HBOS and subsequent bail out by UK taxpayers.

The bank is rumoured to be preparing to float the 600 branches under an IPO that would lead to the creation of a new bank, should it fail to reach a deal with suitors.

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