Trade union Unite has branded a decision by the parent of Bank of Scotland to axe more than 1,000 jobs “shameful”.
Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) said today it was getting rid of 1,070 roles, but also creating 329 new ones.
It comes just days after the group reported a return to profitability in the third quarter of the year, saying it was starting to see an encouraging recovery after serious hits from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The virus is expected to cost it more than £4.5 billion in impairments this year.
Pre-tax profits hit £1.04bn in the three months ending September 30, up from £50 million during the third quarter of 2019.
Unite said the new roles would be of “no comfort to the 1,000 staff who have today lost their incomes and livelihoods”.
It called on LBG to postpone its planned restructuring programmes with immediate effect following the better-than-expected quarterly results, as well as the rising threat to te economy posed by Covid-19.
Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said: “Unite cannot comprehend why LBG would choose to cut 1,000 staff who have given the bank such commitment and dedication during a global pandemic. These staff have worked tirelessly despite any risks to themselves.
“This cost-cutting strategy will not serve the bank or its customers. It is impossible to reconcile the job losses announced today with such an improved balance sheet.
“Unite is calling on LBG to do the right thing and put on hold its restructure plans. The threat caused by the pandemic is now unquestionable.
“The bank must now hit the pause button on its job loss and redundancy programme.
“We need a fresh approach to the unprecedented challenges that Covid-19 has created for all of us.”
LBG said Unite and also the Accord union “were consulted prior to this announcement and will continue to be consulted”.
It gave no breakdown for the job cuts by location but a spokeswoman for the company said the changes were mainly in the group’s transformation and retail banking teams. They will not result in any branch closures, she added.
The spokeswoman said: “This morning we shared changes to some of our teams and we can confirm a net reduction of circa 730 roles.
“These changes reflect our ongoing plans to continue to meet our customers’ changing needs and make parts of our business simpler.
“The majority of colleagues briefed today will not leave until January at the earliest. We will help colleagues who are affected find new roles and redeployment opportunities wherever possible, and everyone will be given access to a package of training and support designed to help them secure their next position, whether within or outside of our business.
“Change does mean making difficult decisions and our focus remains on supporting our customers, colleagues and communities.”