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November 10, 2009    

Lloyds axes a further 5,000 positions

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by Kay Murchie

Lloyds Banking Group, which is 43% owned by the taxpayer, has today announced it will axe 5,000 jobs by the end of 2010, bringing its total number of job losses this year to 12,500.

Since its merger with HBOS last autumn, Lloyds has axed thousands of jobs due to overlap within the megabank.

However, a spokesperson for the banking giant said some of today’s cuts refer to temporary staff so the end result would be a permanent loss of 2,600 jobs in the UK.

The majority of the job losses will be within its operations unit, which includes IT, collections and payment services.

Commenting on the loss of jobs, Mark Fisher, a group director at Lloyds, said: “We will continue to work closely with our colleagues affected by today’s announcement to help them through these changes over the coming year.”

However, the news was met with criticism from the Unite union. Rob MacGregor, Unite’s national officer, said: “This announcement demonstrates the depth of corporate arrogance within this taxpayer-supported bank.”

“This country’s financial sector should be looking towards the future, rather than continuing to slash jobs without proper consideration of how to rebuild the public’s confidence in our tarnished banking sector,” added MacGregor.

Furthermore, the news will come as a blow to the rising unemployment situation within the UK. Official figures tomorrow are expected to show that Britain’s jobless has grown to 2.5 million, taking the unemployment rate to 8%.

Meanwhile, the Treasury recently confirmed that Lloyds will sell off bank branches.

Lloyds agreed to sell 600 of its retail branches with disposals including Lloyds TSB Scotland and mortgage broker, Cheltenham & Gloucester, as well as the Intelligent Finance online business.

Furthermore, it has been confirmed that Lloyds will embark on a £13.5 billion rights issue, as well as a £7.5 billion debt swap.

The rights issue means Lloyds will avoid the Government’s Asset Protection Scheme (APS).

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