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Lloyds considering Halifax agency counter closures

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by Kay Mitchell

Lloyds Banking Group is considering more job losses as the bank plans to close more than 300 “agency” counters run by its Halifax subsidiary in the offices of estate agents, solicitors or financial advisers.

Agency counters are not Halifax branches and their staff are employed by the agent as part of their wider business and the closures are part of the process of integrating HBOS, Halifax’s owner, into the Lloyds group, following the merger of the two banks last autumn.

It is not yet known how may jobs are at risk as staff are employed by the licencees and not by Lloyds.

The banking giant, which is 43% state-owned, has shed around 7,500 jobs so far this year and recently announced it was reviewing its decision to close down its Cheltenham & Gloucester (C&G) subsidiary.

In June, the mega-bank said it was closing all of its 160 UK C&G branches with the loss of hundreds of jobs but the decision may now be reversed.

The announcement was met with criticism after Rob MacGregor of the Unite union, said: “We have no confidence in this bank’s confused strategy.”

With regard to the agency closures, Lloyds said in a statement: “A strategic review of the agency network is currently under way and until this review is concluded, no decisions will be taken regarding the rest of the agency network.

“The network of 3,000 Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland branches are not involved in this review and continue to operate as normal.”

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News posted: August 31, 2009

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