Belfast Telegraph

'Brutal' job cuts at banks slammed

By Alan Jones

Two taxpayer-supported banks were yesterday attacked for making "brutal" cuts of over 1,700 jobs and transferring 300 posts to India.

Lloyds Banking Group is cutting 1,300 jobs, while Royal Bank of Scotland is axing 464 posts, unions were told. None of the jobs relate to posts in Northern Ireland. Unite and Accord said it was another "black day" for the finance industry and questioned why the Government was not intervening.

David Fleming, Unite national officer, said: "The announcement of 1,764 job cuts in these taxpayer-supported institutions today is truly brutal. How can there be justification for the Government not intervening as these jobs are lost from our struggling economy? To learn that 300 jobs are being transferred to a low wage economy adds insult to injury.

"Once more these banks are attacking some of their lowest paid staff to achieve cost savings. Today is yet another devastating day for bank workers as they witness these institutions pressing ahead with massive job cuts, without any consideration of the consequences for these individuals, their families and the economy."

Lloyds said the job losses were part of its previously-announced strategic review and would affect its group operations, executive functions, wholesale and insurance divisions.

The bank, which is 40% owned by the taxpayer, said it would work through the job losses with staff in a "careful and sensitive way", using natural turnover and redeployment where possible.

"Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort," the bank said in a statement.

Ged Nichols, general secretary of Accord, said: "This is a black day for Lloyds employees. Over 30,000 staff have lost their jobs since the bank was created with the takeover of HBOS three years ago and today LBG has announced a further 1,600 roles will be 'removed'. These employees are paying the price for the failure of others."

An RBS spokesperson said: "We are working hard to rebuild RBS in order to repay taxpayers for their support and having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of this process. We will do all we can to support our people."