Lloyds to shed 305 jobs; chop 49 branches

Lloyds to shed 305 jobs; chop 49 branches

Lloyds Bank is to lay off 305 staff and shutter 49 bank branches in an ongoing programme aimed at slashing costs.

The UK bank is in the midst of a three year programme to shut 400 branches and shrink hundreds more, ditching tellers in favour of tablet-wielding wandering staffers.

In a statement confirming the news, which will also include staff cuts in some central back office functions, the bank says: "Customers are increasingly choosing to use digital and mobile channels for their everyday banking needs. As a consequence, the number of customers visiting some of our branches has declined in recent years. In response to this, we have confirmed the locations of some branches which will close next year across Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland."

Lloyds in February announced plans to invest £3 billion over the next three years to transform the business into a "digitised, simple, low risk, customer focused, UK financial services provider". In a strategy update presented alongside its annual results, the UK bank pledged to deploy new technology to drive additional operational efficiencies including deeper end-to-end transformation targeting over 70% of the cost base.

The £3 billion price tag is 40% up on the spend allocated for the previous three-year plan, which saw thousands of jobs cut as the bank re-engineered the business to take advantage of new mobile and online channels.

The new plan is aimed at reducing operating costs to less that £8 billion in 2020 and achieving a cost:income ratio in the low 40s.

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