Lloyds Bank to axe 1,000 jobs to cut costs

One of the UK's leading banks, Lloyds Banking Group, is set to slash around 965 jobs to cut costs, as part of the state-backed lender's restructuring plan announced a year ago.

Last year, the bank said it would close up to 150 branches and resort to massive job cuts of around 9,000, as part of a three-year strategy to make the business simpler and more efficient as it aims to embark on a sustainable growth path.

It is believed that about a quarter of the total job cuts have already taken place.

The planned job cuts are expected to be across the bank's retail, commercial banking and consumer finance businesses and in several back office divisions. It is expected that around 150 new jobs will be created.

"All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager today. The group's recognised unions were consulted prior to this announcement and will continue to be consulted," the bank said in a statement.

"Lloyds Banking Group is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way," it said.

The bank's unions said they wanted redeployment of the affected staff and no compulsory redundancies.

''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,'' the lender said.

Lloyds, struggling with the acquisition of ailing lender HBOS, was bailed out by the UK government following the global financial crisis in 2009 by injecting around £20 billion, resulting in a government stake of over 43 per cent in the group.

Since then, the treasury has been reducing its stake by selling shares to institutional investors, which has come to just under 10 per cent in October 2015.

The treasury said a day before that it will sell around £2 billion of Lloyds shares to retail investors next spring.

A long-delayed report unveiled last week on failed HBOS recommended reopening of the investigations and possible ban of 10 former executives from working the UK financial services industry, who were blamed for the bank's collapse.

The bank's strategic plan includes a £1.6 billion investment earmarked for improving its digital services and automation, targeting cost cuts to the tune of £1 billion annually by the end of 2017.

With the ever increasing penetration of computers and smartphones, the bank said its online user base has increased to 11 million with over 5.9 million active mobile users.