Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Lloyds and HSBC under fire over job cuts

Two of Britain's biggest banks have come under fire after announcing plans to cut thousands more jobs in the industry.

Lloyds Banking Group said it will lose 15,000 staff by 2014 as part of new chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio's strategic review, while HSBC said it will cut 700 roles.

Unions said they were "flabbergasted" by the day's job losses and accused the banks of finding "any excuse" to cut them. Mr Horta-Osorio, who took up the top post in March, was unrepentant and insisted the cuts had to be made for the good of the bank and UK economy.

The latest cull at Lloyds, which owns brands including Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Scottish Widows, will bring total job losses at the 41% state-owned bank to nearly 45,000 since it was formed in 2009 when Lloyds TSB and HBOS merged.

David Fleming, Unite national officer, said the Lloyds review will cause "deep distress and anxiety".

Mr Horta-Osorio also announced plans to reduce the company's international presence from 30 countries to less than 15 by 2014. He also pledged to revitalise the Halifax brand and will keep the Scottish Widows insurance arm.

HSBC said it was reshaping its wealth management business before Retail Distribution Review rules are introduced in January 2013.

The new law will mean UK banks can no longer offer financial advice for free, so HSBC expects demand for the service to decline. However, the bank will still have 1,500 advisers across the UK.

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