Unite, the union representing staff at Lloyds Banking Group, has today (June 23) expressed anger at the decision of the bank to close 44 bank branches in 2021.
The bank’s decision to press ahead with this significant bank branch closure programme across England and Wales is a bitter blow for customers, staff and local communities.
Unite national officer, Caren Evans said, “The decision by Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) to further erode its presence within our communities is baffling. The closure of 44 more bank branches will deny our communities of essential services such as access to cash and experienced highly trained staff. A local ATM is not a suitable alternative to a staffed bank branch.
“In recent times LBG has spent significant resource to sell its message of ‘Helping Britain Recover’,” she added. “Unite seriously question how this decision to walk away from local communities promotes this message at a time when the customers will rely on the financial services sector support more than ever.
“Unite does not view the bank branch network as a disposable commodity and the union believes that the branch network has a value far beyond its immediate commerciality,” Evans continued. “Unite wants to see Lloyds Banking Group invest in the branch network and commit to a meaningful presence in our communities.”
Unite has made it clear to Lloyds Banking Group that bank branches provide an essential service to our communities. Further the bank’s presence on the high street has a latent value to Lloyds Banking Group that doesn’t show on any balance sheet. The closure of further bank branches will be devastating for customers, staff and local communities.
The bank has given Unite a commitment that the majority of impacted colleagues will be redeployed with some voluntary redundancies.
By Saba Edwards