British bank Lloyds slashes another 2,100 jobs

LONDON: Britain's state-controlled Lloyds Banking Group axed 2,100 more jobs on Tuesday as it sought to streamline operations and recover from the global financial crisis and the costly takeover of rival HBOS.

"Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) is announcing today a number of organisational changes within its group operations and wholesale divisions," it said in a statement.

"These changes follow careful and detailed reviews by the group and will result in the bringing together of a number of functions."

Lloyds added that it has already cut 700 roles "through the natural attrition process" and the release of contract and agency workers.

"Following these changes, up to approximately 2,100 roles will be affected over the next three years. This number is mitigated by the creation of approximately 350 new roles in the wholesale division."

Lloyds, which is 43-percent owned by the government after a huge bailout, has now slashed around 7,000 jobs since its creation in January, when Lloyds TSB bought rival lender HBOS in a government-brokered deal.

HBOS had faced potential collapse as the credit crunch hit its ability to raise funds. It was also saddled with massive losses as a result of high-risk investments which plunged in value amid a fierce recession in Britain.

LBG said Tuesday that it would not offshore any more roles in order to keep as many jobs as possible in Britain.

Trade unions reacted with anger to the latest round of steep job cuts.

"As a taxpayer-supported organisation, real questions need to be asked as to how far this bank can be allowed to go in this systematic slashing of staff," said Rob MacGregor, a senior official at Britain's biggest union Unite.

"This loss of over two thousand jobs marks the largest single job loss announcement since the formation of LBG in January."

MacGregor added: "Morale is now truly low as employees across Lloyds are in a permanent state of anxiety as they see their employer announce hundreds of job losses every week.

"This Labour government can not afford to turn the other way as bank workers across the country are losing their jobs. This horrendous news brings the total of job losses since January in LBG to over 7,000."

But Mark Fisher, LBG director of group operations, said the bank would be "better placed" as a result of the latest job cuts.

"By bringing the businesses together, we will be better placed for the future. Regrettably, however, some of our colleagues will be affected by our plans," Fisher said.

"We understand that this difficult news will be unsettling and we will be working closely with those colleagues affected."

Earlier this month, Lloyds revealed that it would shut its network of 164 Cheltenham Gloucester retail branches in November with the loss of 1,660 positions.