[LONDON] Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Britain's largest mortgage lender, will eliminate about 1,340 jobs as part of a cost-cutting program that started in October 2014.
The move is part of a plan to pare about 12,000 roles by 2017, the Accord labour union, which represents employees, said in a statement Wednesday. The job losses are within retail banking, operations, finance and risk and customer products and marketing and bring cuts to about 8,680 so far. The lender, which employs about 74,117 in total, said it will create 110 new roles and seek to move some people to other positions.
"Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, it will look to achieve this by offering voluntary redundancy," Lloyds said in a statement.
"Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort."
Chief executive officer Antonio Horta-Osorio deepened job cuts in July as he strives to offset evaporating income from lending amid record low interest rates in the wake of the UK's Brexit vote. Meanwhile, the government, which owns 9 per cent of the bank, restarted selling shares in the company last week below the average price paid in its 20.3 billion-pound (S$34.57 billion) rescue of the lender during the financial crisis.
"We're deeply concerned that both the scale and the pace of job reductions are increasing," Accord General Secretary Ged Nichols said in the statement. "This 'death by a thousand cuts' approach does nothing to give confidence to those who will be staying with the business."
Lloyds has slumped 27 per cent this year in London trading, marking the second-worst performance among major British lenders behind Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.