February 5, 2018 / 4:09 PM / 4 months ago

Britain's Lloyds Bank axes 930 jobs in latest cost drive

LONDON (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) said on Monday it had cut 930 jobs last month, as Britain’s biggest bank continues to reduce costs in an effort to improve shareholder returns.

FILE PHOTO - People walk past a branch of Lloyds Bank on Oxford Street in London, Britain July 28, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

However, Lloyds said it had also created 465 new roles, meaning a net reduction in headcount of 465.

The job cuts will mainly impact the bank’s commercial bank and chief information office, as well as its risk, community banking and insurance and wealth units.

“This process involved making difficult decisions, and we are committed to working through these changes in a careful and sensitive way. All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager,” a Lloyds spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters.

Lloyds said in its most recent annual report, released in February last year, that it had a total average headcount of 80,418 in 2016.

    In recent years it has laid off thousands of workers and closed hundreds of branches in an effort to deliver dividends to shareholders in an environment of low interest rates and increased regulation, which have crimped bank profits.

    The government sold its remaining shares in Lloyds last year, drawing a line under one of the largest bailouts from the 2007-2009 global financial crisis.

    Lloyds will lay out a fresh three-year strategy expected to focus on digital initiatives and plans for growth, perhaps centred on its insurance or wealth offerings, when it announces its full-year results, which are due on Feb 21.

    In the third quarter, Lloyds reported a jump in pre-tax profit, despite taking higher bad loan charges.

    Reporting by Lawrence White and Emma Rumney; editing by David Evans and Alexander Smith

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