Lloyds Banking Group is to cut 625 jobs and close 21 branches, with the prospect of deeper cuts on the horizon as the bank strives to slash expenses still further to combat low interest rates.
Today’s announcement is part of the 9000 job cuts announced by the bailed-out bank in 2014. The redundancies cross several divisions and include the offshoring of 82 IT roles to India.
Job losses will be followed by a recruitment freeze in certain areas, claims labour union Unite, while many remaining staff will be asked to go through a new ‘assessment and selection’ process.
John Morgan-Evans, Unite regional officer, says the cuts are taking a heavy toll on the remaining workforce, with 74% reporting symptoms of work-related stress, while 80% claim they have to work additional unpaid overtime every week just to keep up with the rising workload.
“It is alarming that Lloyds is continuing to offshore IT roles in the name of driving down cost," he says. "This simply means that the bank wants to pay an IT worker in India less for the same work carried out in the UK. Unpaid overtime and work-related stress are already at endemic levels across the bank and this will reach a crisis point if Lloyds continues to swing the axe.”
Unfortunately for Unite, the latest round of cuts may represent just the tip of the iceberg. Citing 'two people familiar with the matter' Bloomberg is reporting that Lloyds is considering deeper cuts, beyond its target to eliminate 9000 jobs by the end of next year as a continuation of low interest rates bites into expectations for profits from lending.
The newswire says Lloyds could accelerate its job-cutting programme and undertake a fresh strategic review this summer before the end of its three-year plan.