Tuesday, 10 November 2009

'Superbank' throws 5,000 on scrapheap

From today's Morning Star

Lloyds Bank has been accused of "corporate arrogance" and forcing workers to pay for fat cats' mistakes after it announced plans to slash thousands of jobs.

In a fresh wave of cuts designed to reduce costs, Lloyds Banking Group will axe up to 5,000 jobs across the country next year within the group-operations, insurance and retail sectors as a result of a series of reorgnisational moves.

Lloyds has already cut around 10,000 jobs since it took over the failed Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) at the end of last year to form a "superbank."

The impact of the recession caused the government, which holds a 43 per cent stake in the bank, to bail it out to the tune of £17 billion. And only last week the government announced a further £5.7bn investment.

Left Economics Advisory Panel (LEAP) chairman John McDonnell MP said: "The government has just handed another £5.7bn in public money to Lloyds and within a week the bank has announced a further 5,000 job losses.

"This is another slap in the face for the Chancellor and is another reason why we have consistently called for full nationalisation and public control so that public money is not used to subsidise job losses and bankers' and shareholders' greed.

"Yet again this demonstrates that it is the working people who are paying for this recession while the bankers profiteer."

Unite national officer Rob MacGregor has called on Lloyds to put all job losses on hold until it agrees not to enforce any compulsory redundancies.

He said: "This announcement of 5,000 job losses demonstrates the depth of corporate arrogance within this taxpayer-supported bank.

"This country's financial sector should be looking towards the future rather then continuing to slash jobs without proper consideration of how to rebuild the public's confidence in our tarnished banking sector.

"Today marks the start of another dark week for finance workers.

"The government cannot afford to continue to look the other way as hard-working families are punished in this manner."

Ged Nichols, general secretary of the Accord union which represents the largest number of former HBOS staff now working for Lloyds, added: "We always recognised that some job losses were inevitable as Lloyds TSB integrated HBOS operations, but the scale of the changes will leave many staff in shock.

"Some of those who are affected will have a long wait before anything definite happens and they may find the uncertainty very difficult to cope with."

But a statement from the bank has argued that the cuts will be "significantly mitigated."

Lloyds group integration director Mark Fisher said: "We have mitigated the impact on positions through redeployment and the release of contractors and temporary staff."

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