The Edinburgh-based initiative is the latest phase of the bank's digital transformation strategy, as it seeks to respond to changing customer demands and behaviour
Scotland is set for a boost to its financial services industry as Lloyds Banking Group reveals plans to create 500 new jobs in the region as part of its digital transformation strategy.
Software engineering roles will be created at a “tech hub” in Edinburgh, which will focus on developing new ways for customers to engage digitally with brands across the Lloyds Group portfolio, including Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Scottish Widows.
The move comes as part of a £3bn investment programme for the financial institution, designed to improve its digital capabilities and competitiveness.
Philip Grant, chairman of Lloyds Banking Group’s Scottish executive committee, said: “We’re working with the industry to strengthen our tech-based talent pool in Scotland, which will not only benefit customers of Lloyds Banking Group, but support the development of technology, skills and talent in the fastest growing digital economy outside London.
“People’s expectations are rising rapidly as they want the same experience they’re used to with established digital brands.”
Scotland tech hub will help Lloyds adapt to changing trends in financial services
Technology plays an increasingly significant role in modern banking services, as customers spend more time on their mobile devices and expect high-quality digital experiences.
The pace of the digital switch has proved tricky for big financial institutions to respond to, with nimble, tech-driven fintechs like Monzo and Revolut competing for customer attention on the quality of digital services – Monzo today announced it has surpassed two million UK customers.
This has also resulted in branch closures, as lenders allocate resources towards developing digital infrastructure in response to changing consumer demand.
Lloyds closed 108 physical locations in 2018, reducing the size of its network to 1,735 branches at the end of last year.
The bank claims to have more than 15 million customers across the UK now using online and mobile methods to access and manage their bank accounts.
Mr Grant added: “In our tech labs, we are designing what customers will need in the future, making products and services that can adapt to their lives and making it easier for them to connect with their finances.”
Lloyds investment will be a ‘major boost’ to Scotland’s growing tech economy
Today’s news, which will bring jobs and investment to an area that has enjoyed growth in financial technology services in recent years, was welcomed by the Scottish secretary for finance and the economy, Derek Mackay.
The MSP for Renfrewshire North and West said: “Edinburgh is fast becoming one of the UK’s most competitive tech hubs, with growth in agile start-ups, offerings from its world-leading universities and new digital academies providing greater scale and choice for careers in the industry.
“Lloyds’ investment will be a major boost towards growing the workforce of the future in Scotland, helping create a more dynamic and innovative side to its thriving financial sector.
“This commitment sends a strong message that even in these uncertain times we remain open for business, and shows great confidence in Scotland as a centre of excellence for financial services.”
The bank hosts digital academies and meet-ups across the Edinburgh tech scene, including CodeClan and CodeBar, and has formed partnerships with Fintech Scotland and HackerX.
It also runs an internal training course designed to improve the digital skills of employees, including coding workshops.