CHESTER has escaped any major job cuts as part of Lloyds Bank’s plans to shed 940 jobs across the UK.
Since Lloyds TSB completed its takeover of HBOS in 2009, the banking group has axed about 1,500 jobs in the city and closed some offices and call centres.
Further cuts have now been announced affecting the operations, insurance, retail, wealth, international and commercial divisions with almost 200 being moved to India.
Lloyds said four IT workers based in Chester were told yesterday they would be losing their jobs.
Unions have reacted angrily and claim Lloyds has now cut more than 31,000 jobs since 2009.
Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: “Since 2009 Lloyds has 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.”
Bank workers in Chester have been among the hardest hit since the takeover was completed.
About 600 jobs went in 2009 with another 800 being lost in 2010 and further losses since then.
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.”