To be executed between March and April 2021, the branch closures could put 160 jobs at risk
Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) has resumed its plans to close 56 bank branches across its subsidiaries Lloyds Bank, Halifax, and Bank of Scotland, leaving 160 jobs at risk.
The UK-based group had earlier paused the closures owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. They will now be executed between March and April 2021, as per the company.
According to trade union Unite, the branches were all identified initially to be shuttered over a six-month plan beginning from April to October 2020.
The resumption of the plan follows the banking group’s decision made earlier this month to lay off an additional 1,070 employees as part of a restructuring programme.
In September 2020, Lloyds Banking Group said that it would make 865 roles redundant across its UK operations under the same strategy aimed at streamlining its business.
Unite has described the latest decision on the branch closures as “unjustified and damaging”.
Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said: “The pandemic has highlighted the vital role our local bank branches play in providing an essential service to the community. These closures don’t just cut a vital service from communities but also force customers to travel further to stand in larger crowds of customers queuing outside busier branches.
“Unite is opposed to these latest cuts and will continue to resist job losses and branch closures. The union has urged the bank to halt the branch closure programme and instead assess the impacts of any proposed closures on members, customers, and the local economic activity.”
Lloyds Banking Group recently reported £688m in net profit after tax for Q3 2020 compared to a £1.01bn net loss after tax in Q3 2019.
In second quarter of 2020, the banking group reported a loss of £461m, while posting a net profit of £480m in the first quarter.