Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L), which is still 9%-owned by British taxpayers, has accelerated its job-cutting scheme, axing a further 1,340 jobs, even as it reported creating 110 new roles, bringing the net jobs lost to 1,230.
The posts that are being axed are part of the 9,000 job cuts that was first announced by the bailed-out bank in October 2014, and would also result in the closure of 200 branches as it progresses an ongoing restructuring program to cut costs and save an extra £400 million ($490 million) by the end of 2017.
The news of fresh job losses came despite the state-backed lender doubled its pre-tax profit in H1 2016 where it reported a £2.5 billion ($3.06 million) compared to £1.2 billion in H1 2015.
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Staff at Britain’s biggest retail bank were told by their line managers on Wednesday about the job losses, which cover large parts of the group including retail, group operations, marketing and finance and risk division.
Rob MacGregor, Unite’s regional officer, criticised the Lloyds plans to axe further UK jobs dubbing today’s announcement “horrific news for staff”. He commented: “1,340 job losses within this taxpayer backed institution are wholly unacceptable. Unite will oppose all job losses and challenge senior management to ensure all those affected by this latest round of announcements be offered alternative suitable employment.”
“The constant flow of job cuts across the group] must now be halted and staff be allowed to get on with delivering the high quality and impressive service they are so good at providing,” added MacGregor.
Last week, the British government said it would begin to sell down its remaining holdings in the Lloyds. After it had already recouped about £16.9 billion through share sales, the U.K. Financial Investments, which manages the government’s stake in the bank, expects to recoup all of the 20.3 billion pounds ($26 billion) that was injected in the bank during the financial crisis. Almost 10% of Lloyds is still owned by the British taxpayers.