Lloyds Banking Group plc (NYSE: LYG) said it will slash 15,000 more jobs – about 14 percent of its current workforce -- in an attempt to save about £1.5-billion ($2.4-billion) by 2014 and return the British lender to profitability.
Antonio Horta-Osorio, who took over as chief executive of Lloyds in March, announced that job cuts as part of an overall strategic review. He noted the job losses would impact staff across the bank’s various business lines, including significant cuts from middle management.
Lloyds indicated that it will not close any of its bank branches in the UK (excluding the 600-plus branches it has already agreed to sell to a European buyer).
“We have to do this because this bank is losing money on an after-tax basis. We have to get this bank back on its feet,” Horta-Osorio said. “I’m sure our staff [is] going to see we have a clear strategy for the future.”
The new job eliminations come on top of the nearly 28,000 other workforce reductions the bank has implemented since its merger with HBOS in late 2008.
BBC’s business editor Robert Peston commented: "This is a huge shake-up," with consequences that "will ripple through the British economy".
"[Horta-Osorio] wants to do as much of [the job cuts] through redeployment and natural attrition as redundancies, but there are bound to be redundancies," Peston wrote.
"They want to bring top management closer to branch management - so there's a whole swathe of managers for whom that is incredibly bad news."
Peston added: “Never have so many jobs been shed by a single bank in British history. It's possible no UK company of any sort has ever reduced job numbers by so much.”
Indeed, UK unions, already fighting against government spending cuts, lashed out at Lloyds.
David Fleming, national officer of the Unite union, told reporters: "This [strategic] review is merely another box-ticking exercise to give this bank -- which has already, since its creation two years ago, cut over 27,000 staff -- an excuse to sack more employees."