Lloyds banks on job cuts and IT to slash costs; HSBC swings the axe

Lloyds banks on job cuts and IT to slash costs; HSBC swings the axe

Lloyds Banking Group is cutting another 15,000 jobs and pinning its hopes on better IT platforms as it bids to make savings of £1.5 billion a year by 2014.

Following a strategic review led by new boss Antonio Horta-Osorio, the tax payer-banked institution is adding another 15,000 job cuts to the 28,000 already made since the 2008 financial crisis.

The bank will pull out of over half the 30 countries it currently operates in by 2014 as it streamlines operations but has vowed not to get rid of any of its UK branches beyond those it has been ordered to dispose of by the EU.

Other measures designed to make savings of £1.5 billion a year by 2014 include "better end-to-end processes and IT platforms, a delayered management structure and simpler legal structure, centralised support functions".

Lloyds is vowing to "conduct an end-to-end redesign of our processes, which will include significant process automation, and will materially reduce the number of IT applications". It is also taking the axe to its suppliers, reducing the number from 17,000 to under 10,000 to save around 15% in addressable spending.

Overall, the programme will cost about £2.3 billion although the resultant savings will free up £2 billion in extra investment between 2011 and 2014 "to grow our core franchise".

The markets reacted positively to Horta-Osorio's plan, with shares in Lloyds up over eight per cent by mid-morning but unions are furious with the latest job cuts.

David Fleming, Unite national officer, says: "Today Lloyds Banking Group is simply attacking the workforce who service local communities and deliver the highest levels of service to the consumers of the bank. This review does nothing to deal with the structural challenges facing the organisation."

There was more bad news for Unite from HSBC, which announced plans to cut about 700 jobs from its retail banking business. More than half of the cuts will hit advisory positions in the branch, as the bank prepares for new rules set to be introduced at the end of 2012 under the Retail Distribution Review. Other cuts will impact 140 roles in the bank's service delivery area and around a further 100 positions across IT operations and head office functions such as HR, finance and compliance.

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