LLOYDS Banking Group is to cut or outsource over 200 Scottish jobs.
• 135 jobs to go, with 70 to be outsourced to outside suppliers
• Announcement latest in string of job cuts at banking giant
• Cuts part of restructuring following merger of HBOS and Lloyds, with 15,000 jobs to go overall
Lloyds, which has announced 1,300 job losses in the past few days, is to cut 135 roles in its Scottish operation, and a further 70 will be transferred to outside suppliers.
The Unite union expressed “fury” at the latest cuts, adding that a quarter of Lloyds’ workforce has now been cut since 2009.
The Accord union said almost 200 posts were being moved offshore to India.
Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: “Since 2009 Lloyds have slashed a quarter of the workforce. It is a complete disgrace that the bank, which is 41 per cent owned by the taxpayer, continues to cut jobs in such a cavalier manner.
“In the middle of an economic crisis, a bank part-owned by the public should be keeping jobs in the UK, not exporting them abroad.
“Unite has warned Lloyds Banking Group that if they are looking for a period of stability and growth to return it to profitability, this cannot and will not be achieved by continuous and damaging job loss announcements.
“Unite opposes these cuts and will be doing everything possible to stop compulsory redundancies.”
Most of the job losses are in-branch staff from Bank of Scotland, such as customer and product managers. The outsourced jobs include branch cleaners and cash handling. The cuts are part of a group-wide restructuring at Lloyds, which will see over 15,000 jobs go.
Lloyds said in a statement: “Lloyds Banking Group is today announcing 940 role reductions within the group operations, insurance, retail, wealth and international and commercial divisions. These form part of the reductions previously announced in the group’s strategic review.
“Lloyds Banking Group is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way. All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager today. The group’s recognised unions, Accord, Unite and LTU, were consulted prior to this announcement and will continue to be consulted.
“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.
“Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, it will look to achieve this by offering voluntary redundancy. Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort.
“In fact, during 2009 and 2010, slightly less than 50 per cent of the role reductions made as part of integration have led to people leaving the group through redundancy.”
Ged Nichols, general secretary of Accord, said: “This is a bleak start to the year for hard-working employees and is bad news for the UK economy on a day when the small fall in the numbers unemployed was supposed to be good news.
“The fact that nearly 200 of the jobs are to be outsourced to India is particularly unwelcome. Accord is certain that this is not what UK taxpayers would want from a bank in which they are the largest shareholder.
“Accord believes that Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) executives have a duty to think of the public interest before they offshore any more jobs.
“We expect LBG to cut another 5,000 jobs in 2013. The impact on the staff morale of this axe hanging over them is awful. At some stage LBG is going to have to focus on re-engaging staff in the interests of its customers and the economy instead of continually bleeding jobs.
“Accord believes that this can only come through having highly-motivated, professional employees who are free to concentrate on their jobs instead of worrying about job security.”
Unite said Lloyds has cut more than 31,000 jobs since its creation in 2009, pointing out that on Monday the bank announced it was cutting nearly 200 human resources jobs and last week the company cut a further 175 jobs in the Halifax branch network.