Lloyds Banking Group implemented its latest strategic review on Tuesday by announcing its plans to remove around 1,230 jobs across eight business divisions while simultaneously creating roughly 925 new roles.
Chief executive António Horta-Osório said just a few weeks ago that the bank would invest £3bn over the next three years to improve customer service, embrace digital technology and become more efficient.
Of Lloyds' 23 different initiatives announced on Tuesday, which will result in a net reduction of around 305 jobs, according to banking union Accord, the three stand-out ones were seen as being the bank's withdrawal from its customer services site in Fareham in 2019, the closure of a further 49 branches across the UK and a new operating model that will affect local directors, managers, assistant branch managers and non-supervisory assistant branch managers.
Accord's general secretary, Ged Nichols, said, “These job reductions come quick on the heels of a strategic review announcement which gave little away about the scale of changes that employees can expect over the next three years and the impact on jobs.”
“Even taking into consideration the number of new roles being created, they do not replicate the seniority of roles being removed and the experience which will leave the bank and not be replaced is a significant concern,” Nichols added.
The union expressed concerns over the new operating model and its potential to lead to the loss of managerial cover in branches.
“We'll do everything we can to avoid them being made redundant against their wishes and we're contacting every one of them today to offer our support,” Nichols concluded.
In February Lloyds unveiled a £1bn share buyback for investors and increased its annual dividend by a fifth even though the bank reported full-year profit short of expectations.
Pre-tax profit for the calendar year rose 24% to £5.3bn, less than the £5.7bn average analyst forecast due to higher provisions for payment protection insurance (PPI). Underlying profit rose 8% to £8.5bn, slightly below expectations for £8.6bn.
Horta-Osório said the bank was positioned for strong growth after the government sold the last of the shares it bought during the financial crisis.
Horta-Osório, who will be paid £6.4m for 2017, also outlined plans for investing £3bn over the next three years, saying Lloyds was “well prepared to succeed in a digital world”.