British lender Northern Rock has confirmed that the formal redundancy consultation process with Unite the union and its staff has concluded.

At the start of the process, the company had a workforce of around 6,000 staff. At the end of August 2008, this figure is closer to 4,500, with 1,300 jobs lost through redundancy and the balance through natural turnover, the bank said.

Further natural turnover is expected in the coming years and the company will ultimately preserve a workforce of around 4,000 staff. This is consistent with previous announcements that the workforce was likely to be reduced by around 2,000 jobs by 2011, with the majority leaving the company in 2008, the bank added.

As previously announced, around 500 of the job losses were achieved through voluntary redundancy and 800 through compulsory redundancy. Northern Rock said that it has been able to limit the total number of redundancies through a process of internal redeployment into new roles within the restructured business.

The company said that it continues to work closely with One NorthEast to offer outplacement support services to help those leaving the company find alternative employment, either locally or outside the region.

Northern Rock will seek to sell, or offer for rent, the new office space it is developing at Rainton Bridge near Sunderland and Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne. The company will retain its two main office sites in Gosforth and Doxford Park, Sunderland, as well as its local and national branch and sales network.

Ron Sandler, executive chairman of the company, said: This has been a very difficult period for the whole company. The consultation process has been a substantial exercise and it has been undertaken carefully and thoroughly. All parties, staff, Unite the union and management, have acted professionally and responsibly to ensure that the final outcome was achieved as sensitively as possible.