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‘Endless’ job cuts

Unite calls on Lloyds to avoid compulsory redundancies
Hajera Blagg, Thursday, June 30th, 2016


The relentless Lloyds jobs cull continued yesterday (June 29) as the bank announced it would slash another 640 jobs, mostly in IT, group operations and wealth management.

 

IT sites affected will include London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Halifax, Copley and Manchester with additional impacts in Pusey, Leeds, Banbury and Birmingham.

 

Wealth management job losses will roll out in London, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Haywards Heath, Birmingham and other locations, with group operations staff being affected across the country.

 

The bank said the latest job losses are part of cuts announced by Lloyds two years ago – the plans included slashing 9,000 staff by 2017. This year alone, Lloyds has signalled plans to cut nearly 4,000 positions from its workforce totalling 75,000.

 

The bank also said it planned to shut 200 bank branches by 2017, with 23 set to go this year in October.

 

Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said the continuation of the bank’s major job loss programme will “bring disappointment as staff feel they have already faced two years of endless workforce cuts. These latest job losses are to impact staff across the country.”

 

“The union is calling on the bank to avoid compulsory redundancies with options for redeployment, job-swapping or voluntary redundancy wherever possible,” he added.

 

Unite has pointed to the prolonged nature of the planned job losses at Lloyds as a major driving force in escalating staff stress levels.

 

A survey of bank staff conducted by Unite last year found that 74 per cent of Lloyds workers have reported symptoms of work-related stress, while 80 per cent report having to work additional unpaid overtime every week just to keep up with the rising workload.

 

The latest Lloyds jobs cull comes on the heels of the bank setting aside an additional £2bn this year to pay for mis-sellling Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) policies.

 

These PPI policies, which were designed to cover repayments in case customers become ill or lose their jobs, were sold to millions, most of the time without their knowledge. Many customers who did purchase the policies were ineligible to make claims anyway.

 

Lloyds’ total PPI bill now totals £16bn – more than twice that of other banks. Meanwhile, chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio received a bonus of £850,000 for last year, which has brought his total pay package to £8.7m for 2015.

 

Lloyds received a £20.5bn taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis in 2008, and is now 9 per cent owned by the taxpayer.

 

The Tory government said last year it planned to sell off its remaining stake in the bank but chancellor George Osborne announced in January that he would pause these plans, citing market volatility. Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, it is understood these plans will be shelved for even longer.

 

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