LONDON (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group has cut 380 jobs as part of a re-organisation that will also see it create 435 new roles, the bank said on Wednesday, as it gears up to better compete in a market increasingly built around online and mobile services.
The changes, resulting in a net increase of 55 positions, are part of the bank’s latest three-year strategy. Announced in February, it will see Lloyds invest 3.0 billion pounds ($3.9 billion) into technology and staff as it looks to adapt to the increasing popularity of digital banking and declining footfall in branches.
The trend, combined with a drive to cut costs, has seen Britain’s biggest banks axe thousands of jobs and close hundreds of branches in recent years. The Royal Bank of Scotland also said on Wednesday it would axe 258 jobs as part of plans to shutter 54 of its outlets.
A Lloyds spokeswoman said the new roles will be created in the bank’s transformation division, with a focus on engineering and design to enable the bank to offer more leading-edge products and services.
“Whilst today’s announcements will result in an overall net increase in the number of roles within our organisation ... it does involve making difficult decisions,” the spokeswoman continued.
“The group’s policy is always to use natural turnover and to redeploy people in the first instance.”
Hefty branch closures and job cuts have become a source of criticism for Britain’s banks, with lawmakers and campaigners condemning lenders for cutting some off from in-person banking services.
Lloyds has cut over 1,300 roles already this year, as well as creating different positions, in its bid to compete with rivals and smaller financial technology firms on digital initiatives.
Accord, a union representing Lloyds’ staff, said on its website the changes will hit the bank’s commercial banking, people and productivity, retail and transformation divisions.
“Whilst on the face of it the plans look positive, not all existing colleagues will have the transferable skills for the newly created roles and will mean some face redundancy,” the union said.
($1 = 0.7749 pounds)
Reporting by Emma Rumney, editing by Kirstin Ridley and Kirsten Donovan