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Lloyds Decision To Offshore IT Jobs Labelled ‘Disgraceful’

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

593 IT jobs are to go at Lloyds, in what is being described as a brutal headcount reduction

Lloyds Banking Group, which is 40 percent owned by the British taxpayer, has said it is to axe a total of 1,600 jobs, including 593 IT positions.

But according to The Lloyds Trade Union (LTU), the bank is actually trimming 1,821 jobs in total, and not the 1,600 positions that Lloyds officially stated.

Job Cuts

However, Lloyds told TechWeekEurope that some Unions ran with the 1,800 job loss figure because that includes contractors.

“Lloyds Banking Group is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way,” said the bank. “Over the past three years, less than 50 percent of the role reductions have led to people leaving the Group through redundancy. As part of the reductions previously announced by the Group, there are 1,600 role reductions from today’s announcement.”

But LTU remains deeply unimpressed.

“This is the third such announcement this year, following on from 720 job losses announced in January and 718 in February – raising the total since Lloyds TSB and HBOS merged to over 30,000,” said the Union.

Disgraceful Offshoring?

The Union said that 593 IT positions are to be axed (308 permanent and 205 contractor jobs currently filled by UK contractors).

These 503 jobs will apparently be offshored to India, as part of a cost cutting measure. Another 80 roles in the UK are also to go due to a ‘simplification’ process. The decision by Lloyds to offshore so many IT jobs to India has prompted outrage from the LTU, which labelled the move as ‘disgraceful.’

“Whilst other, more responsible, Private Sector companies are participating in Government Schemes (however flawed, or otherwise, these might be) to create jobs in the UK, Top Management in LBG clearly doesn’t feel it has the same responsibility to act ethically or in the interests of the UK Economy,” said the LTU.

We would acknowledge, however reluctantly, that cutting staff numbers may be justified when a company clearly needs less staff,” admitted the LTU. “But for a company whose Top Management shoulders much responsibility for the UK’s current economic predicament (and which has been heavily supported by the UK Tax Payer) to slash jobs in the UK – merely because it can replace existing UK Staff with cheaper replacements abroad – is a downright disgrace.”

The LTU said that instead Lloyds should bring back the 4,000 or so jobs it has already offshored to other countries, “in order to provide jobs for those staff facing redundancy because of increased operational efficiencies.”

Meanwhile the Unite Union has described the job cuts at Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland as ‘brutal’.

“The announcement of 1,764 job cuts in these taxpayer supported institutions today is truly brutal,” said David Fleming, Unite national officer. “How can there be any justification for the government not intervening as these much needed jobs are lost from our struggling economy? To learn that 300 jobs are being transferred to a low wage economy adds insult to injury.”

Open And Honest

RBS meanwhile told TechWeekEurope that it was aware that cutting jobs was a difficult process.

“We are working hard to rebuild RBS in order to repay taxpayers for their support and having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of this process,” said RBS in an emailed statement. “We strive at all times to be open and honest about the tough choices we are making.”

“We will do all we can to support our people, offer redeployment opportunities wherever possible and keep compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum,” it said.

In January Barclays confirmed that 422 British IT jobs were being axed as part of its restructuring.

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