Belfast Telegraph

Lloyds axes another 650 jobs in drive to cut costs

Lloyds Banking Group yesterday said it would axe another 650 jobs and shut a site in Nottingham as part of a raft of changes.

The part-nationalised group also revealed plans to close a 265-strong network of Halifax-branded counters based within firms such as solicitors and estate agencies in a move expected to hit a further swathe of workers, although not directly employed by Lloyds.

It stressed that the independent agency network had already been in decline, almost halving from 475 since 2005.

Eleven independent agents at Halifax counters across Northern Ireland will lose their jobs.

Lloyds said it had struck a deal with the Post Office to allow Halifax customers to pay in cash and cheques at the 12,000 PO branches.

David Nicholson, managing director of Halifax Community Bank, said: "Following the completion of a strategic review, we have now taken the difficult decision that the agencies are no longer integral to our business model.

"We have thought very carefully about the potential impact today's announcement of the phased closure programme may have on our agency customers - we have deliberately strengthened our relationship with the Post Office to increase the range of transactions Halifax customers can carry out."

The main raft of job losses will largely hit insurance and back office based staff in Nottingham and Chester, according to the bank.

Lloyds confirmed that as many as 1,850 bank staff were being affected by the latest drive to cut costs.

However, it said the net impact on permanent roles had been limited to 650 through redeployment and also relocation to sites such as Warrington and Speke.

Lloyds plans to close an insurance office in Nottingham and will reduce other administration functions for the retail bank at sites including Chester, where around 500 roles are being affected.

The bank added that the closure of independent Halifax counters would be staggered between October 4 and November 12.

Staff manning the counters are not on the Lloyds bank payroll, but the closures could lead to job losses within the firms in which they are employed.

Lloyds said that, where possible, it would look to take on those affected within its own Halifax network and would pay redundancy on behalf of the firms if redundancies were necessary.

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