Unite Attacks Banks As Lloyds Cuts Jobs
A union has accused Lloyds Banking Group and the wider industry of undermining Britain's economy following a new round of job cuts.
Unite said 850 staff would be axed at Lloyds, mainly through the closure of an office in Southend in Essex, taking the total number of job losses at the part-nationalised bank this year to almost 2,750.
It said 690 jobs were at risk in Southend alone while another 160 roles would go elsewhere.
Lloyds later confirmed the figures but said it was also creating around 275 roles, mainly in Belfast and at Pitreavie in Scotland.
Its statement said: "The group's policy is always to use natural turnover and to redeploy people wherever possible to retain their expertise and knowledge within the group.
"Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, it will look to achieve this by offering voluntary redundancy. Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort."
It concluded: "In fact, during 2012, around only a third of role reductions led to people leaving the group through redundancy."
But Unite National officer Dominic Hook attacked the bank's position.
He said: "Lloyds is celebrating a return to profit and there are hints of dividend payouts to shareholders but the bank's workers are in constant fear that they will be next for the chop.
"This is no way to treat staff. It's time to urgently review this continuous tide of cuts and build the bank's strength.
"The constant job cuts across the banking industry is bad for bank staff, does nothing to support customers and it's bad for Britain's economy.
"Since January 5,500 job cuts have been announced by high street banks - that's over 1,000 a month.
"Britain's banking industry has a duty to the communities it profits from and that means these institutions need to be responsible employers," he insisted.