Lloyds Banking Group, owners of the Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows, is planning a major restructuring of its workforce, adding 2,000 jobs as it refocuses its operations on digital technology.
Britain’s biggest high street lender will cut 6,000 jobs but create another 8,000 as part of a £3bn reorganisation over the course of the next two years.
The job losses will be spread across the group transformation division, corporate banking, retail and community banking, Sky News reported. New roles will be oriented towards digital technology.
It is understood that existing Lloyds employees whose jobs disappear will be offered the chance to apply for the new roles, fitting in with an existing re-training drive. Lloyds’ recognised unions, Unite and Accord, have been consulted on the plans, which are not thought to include branch closures at this point, although job losses may be concentrated in specific offices.
A Unite spokesperson said: “Unite will scrutinise the detail of the announcement when it is made. Our priority will be to press the company to ensure there are no compulsory redundancies.”
Lloyds, which owns brands such as Halifax as well as BoS, announced in February it would re-evaluate its strategy alongside a £3bn investment plan running from 2018 to 2020. At the same time, it is aiming to cut operating costs to less than £8bn in 2020, from £8.2bn in 2017.
The UK’s major high street banks have been gradually reducing branch numbers as they adjust to the rapid rise of mobile and online banking and the consequent slump in the number of branch transactions.
Lloyds announced 15 branch closures in September, although job losses were not significant. However, it has cut thousands of jobs under the leadership of the chief executive, António Horta Osório, who joined the bank in 2011. The bank previously said its transformation programme would affect more than two-thirds of the business.
The restructuring plan came after the government sold off its final shares in the bank. Lloyds was bailed out by the Government during the financial crisis, following the acquisition of HBOS which made it into the UK’s largest high street bank.