Lloyds TSB is to shed 5000 central and support staff in 2002 as part of a renewed efficiency drive that will also lead to the creation of an additional 2000 jobs in customer facing sales and service.
The 3000 total job losses, which the UK bank says will be achieved largely through voluntary redundancy and natural wastage, were announced as Lloyds TSB reported a six per cent rise in underlying profits for 2001 of £4.462 billion.
Pre-tax profit from UK retail banking fell by £143 million, or 18 per cent, to £633 million. The bank attributes the drop to substantial investments in new products and customer service in the branch and the implementation of a number of customer relationship management initiatives.
During 2001 the bank completed the implementation of a new online real-time personal banking system at a cost of £250 million over the last three years. Over the next 12-18 months, the bank says it will complete the process of moving all correspondence and telephone calls out of branches to specialist service centres, freeing up branch staff for more face-to-face contact with customers.
Lloyds TSB says that its new CRM systems, supported by a suite of predictive modelling tools, are beginning to generate "substantially more sales leads than ever before" and that in-branch information systems have materially enhanced the ability of our staff to identify individual customers' needs.
The bank additionally plans to widen the range of products available online over the coming year to include added value current accounts, overdrafts and travel money. During 2001, total online sales exceeded 110,000 products including personal loans, savings accounts, mortgages, credit cards and a wide range of insurance products, says the bank. The group currently has 1.8 million registered online banking customers.