Lloyds cuts additional 850 jobs

State-funded British banking major Lloyds Banking Group said yesterday that it would resort to further 850 job cuts, bringing this year's total job losses to around 2,750.

About 690 jobs in retail and commercial banking, group operations and wealth divisions were at risk in Southend, England, and other staff positions are across the country.

 Lloyds said that it was also creating around 275 positions, mainly in Belfast in Northern Ireland and Pitreavie in Scotland.

"The group's policy is always to use natural turnover and to redeploy people wherever possible to retain their expertise and knowledge within the group,'' Lloyds said in a statement.

"Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, it will look to achieve this by offering voluntary redundancy. Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort," It further stated.

According to Lloyds, only a third of role reductions in 2012 led to people leaving the group through redundancy.

The Group's cost saving plans announced in 2011 envisaged cutting 15,000 jobs. The current cut will take the total job losses to over 9,000.

Unite, Britain's and Ireland's largest trade union accused Lloyds of creating 'constant tide of job cuts.'

The union's national officer Dominic Hook said, ''Lloyds is celebrating a return to profit and there are hints of dividend payouts to shareholders but the bank's workers are in constant fear that they will be next for the chop. This is no way to treat staff. It's time to urgently review this continuous tide of cuts and build the bank's strength.''

"The constant job cuts across the banking industry is bad for bank staff, does nothing to support customers and it's bad for Britain's economy, Hook added.

Since the beginning of the year, 5,500 job cuts have been announced by high street banks which include Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC, that is over 1,000 a month, Unite said.

"Britain's banking industry has a duty to the communities it profits from and that means these institutions need to be responsible employers," Hook said.

Separately, about 280 staff are leaving the group to join Sainsbury's Bank, a 50:50 joint venture between food retailer Sainsbury and Bank of Scotland, over the next year.

The British government acquired 43.4 per cent stake in the London-based banking group in 2009 as part of its effort to avoid collapse of the financial sector following the global financial crisis. The government holding currently stands at around 41 per cent.