Union anger as Lloyds confirms closure of another 100 branches

Lloyds Bank is to close a further 100 branches, with the loss of over 200 jobs, according to the Uni

Lloyds Bank is to close a further 100 branches, with the loss of over 200 jobs, according to the Unite union. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Lloyds Bank is facing fresh anger over the closure of a further 100 branches – including sites in Ipswich and Cambridge – which will result in more than 200 job losses.

The Unite union said the “continuous stream” of branch closures by the UK’s retail banks appeared to show no signs of ending.

The union said the announcement will affect 54 Lloyds branches – understood to include those in Derby Road, Ipswich – and Gonville Place, Cambridge plus 22 Halifax branches and 24 Bank of Scotland branches.

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said: “The loss of a further 100 local banks will be painful for high streets across the country to absorb. Unite is angered that another 200 staff have today been told that their job will be cut due to their branch shutting.

“Lloyds Banking Group’s rationale for branch closures is the claimed customer preference towards the use of technology across banking.

“However this simply doesn’t ring true when it’s clear that many customers still value the face to face engagement with experienced and knowledgeable bank staff.

A Lloyds spokesman said that the group’s retail division was cutting 325 jobs as part of previously announced reductions under a management restructuring, while 96 new roles would be created.

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The 100 branches will close between July and October, part of around 200 closures first announced last summer.

“These branch closures - previously announced in July 2016 - are in response to changing customer behaviour, and the reduced number of transactions being made in branches,” said the spokesman.

He added: “We are committed to working through the changes announced today in a careful and sensitive way. All affected employees have been briefed this morning, and our recognised unions were consulted in advance and will continue to be consulted throughout the process.

“The group’s policy is always to use natural turnover and to redeploy employees wherever possible. Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, wherever possible, this is achieved through offering voluntary redundancy. Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort.”

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