Lloyds Banking Group is set to cut thousands of jobs and close some branches as part of a plan to make more of its processes digital and automated, according to The Times.
Exactly where the axe will fall in Lloyds, which includes Halifax and Bank of Scotland, is unclear, but areas such as mortgage processing and new account opening are expected to be among those hit, as the bank streamlines its processes. Call centre jobs are also thought to be in danger, as customers switch to online banking and smartphone apps. Lloyds declined to comment.
Chief executive António Horta-Osório has been looking for new ways to cut costs as he tries to modernise the bank and take the government's 25% stake back into private hands. He launched a digital division last year in preparation for the overhaul.
Lloyds has shed as many as 37,000 jobs since its bailout in 2008, and currently employs around 88,000. This round of cuts is not expected to be on the same scale, according to The Times' source, and some employees will be able to switch roles as new digitally-focused jobs are created.
The strategy will be announced alongside its third-quarter results on October 28th, The Times said. Lloyds' share price was slightly down by 0.26% this morning, but has fallen 2.36% this year so far.
The move is understandable as an increasingly tech-savvy population does more and more online and wage costs begin to look like an unnecessary drag. But putting people out of work is never great for a company's image, especially in a sector which is already frowned upon. Lloyds will have a tough job convincing the public that this is for the best.