Lloyds Cuts Jobs Amidst New Digital Focus

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Over 9,000 jobs will be slashed and 150 branches closed under new strategy

Lloyds Banking Group has announced major job cuts as part of a three year campaign to “go digital”.

The group has announced it will be cutting over 9,000 jobs –around 10 percent of its entire workforce – and close 150 branches across the UK over the next three years.

Lloyds will instead be investing over £1bn in digital technology over the next three years as it attempts to keep pace with customer demand for mobile banking services. This will include the ability to talk to managers via Skype, as well as more in-branch employees being equipped with tablets to facilitate quicker customer turnover.

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“We will realign our branch capabilities to operate more efficiently, increasing self-service technology and investing in remote advice services, with an increasing number of counter transactions migrating to digital and self-service,” the company said in a statement.

Recent figures from banking trade body the BBA, digital banking transactions are now worth almost £1bn a day, with almost 40 million mobile and internet banking transactions every week.

“We have delivered substantial improvements to profitability while at the same time continuing to address historical legacy issues,” said Lloyds chief executive António Horta-Osório. “The business is performing strongly and we are well positioned to continue to support and benefit from UK economic growth.”

“The next phase of our strategy will use these strong foundations as a basis for meeting the rapidly-changing needs of our customers, and sets out how we will grow the business in a way that will deliver increasing and sustainable returns for our shareholders.”

The latest job cuts follow on from the 15,000 redundancies implemented in the previous three-year period, partly as a result of the integration of HBOS, taken over by Lloyds in January 2009. Lloyds, which employs 88,000 staff, is itself 25 percent owned by the taxpayer as a result of UK government rescue packages in 2008 and 2009.

Earlier this year, Lloyds announced that it has taken charge of a government digital literacy campaign aimed at charities and small-to-medium businesses (SMBs). As part of the Digital Inclusion Delivery Board, the organisation, which owns Lloyds Bank and Halifax, will be working to help reduce the number of people without basic digital skills by a quarter over the next two years.

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